OA Action Alliance Inaugural Meeting Participants Speak Out about OA

Wayne Giles- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There really are four overarching areas that we really think it’s important for us to be focused on if we’re going to turn around these numbers. And number one, as Doctor Bower mentioned is the very important work around disease self management, specifically management education. And we do know that for about half of the people with osteoarthritis, they really want interventions that are very specific to arthritis, and that is what they really resonate. We also know because of what Doctor Klippel mentioned, the fact that 56 percent of people with heart disease also have arthritis, 50 percent of people with diabetes also have arthritis, some people also want more of a generic chronic disease self management program education as part of this week. So we’ve got to think about, and what I hope we’ll hear from you, are what are the strategies that we can use to help to do a better job of disseminating some of these chronic disease self management education. We want to hear from you about strategies to do this. Dr. Bower talked about the importance of the clinical community linkages, but how do we make it so people are seamlessly referred from what happens in healthcare to these very important supports in the community.

A second really important issue that cuts across all of this is the importance of physical activity. And how can we encourage changing the environment, how can we encourage folks to be able to engage in safe opportunities for physical activity within their community. Particularly light and moderate forms of physical activity; walking, biking, water aerobics, etc. How do we encourage this? That very nicely, I think, falls into the issues around weight management. We know that people, if they’re able to lose five, ten pounds, that they’re able to have huge improvements in terms of pain, function, quality of life. Just moderate amounts of weight loss can have huge impacts. And the final area that we think is really important is the issue of injury prevention, and preventing that very important joint injury.

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