Osteoarthritis in the Maritimes

Current Management and Health Care Use for Patients with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that can cause severe pain and negatively impact daily life, for example by limiting mobility. Without a cure, clinical management focuses primarily on medication for pain relief while patients wait for joint replacement surgery. However, the growing number of patients in need of these surgeries has strained health care resources, contributed to long wait times and, for some patients, precipitated declines in physical and mental health—an unsustainable situation for both patients and the health system.

A better understanding of the patient population and the current management pathways experienced by patients may help to identify ways to improve clinical management of OA, and inform models of care for these patients.

About the project

Following initial discussions around this topic at an MSSU Bridge event in June 2018, an interdisciplinary project team was formed with partners in Nova Scotia Health, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness (NS DHW), and a Patient/Public partner.

The team used existing data from the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (PATH) to examine self-reported characteristics of people living with OA and without OA in all three Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island).  The Atlantic PATH data for Nova Scotians was then linked to administrative data, accessed through Health Data Nova Scotia, in order to identify trends in health care use by Nova Scotians with and without OA.

Project Leads

  • Cheryl Kozey, Professor of Physiotherapy, Dalhousie University
  • Rebecca Moyer, Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, Dalhousie University
  • Amy Grant, Senior Health Policy Research, MSSU, Nova Scotia Health

*Please note: The French version of the summary report will be released soon. The full report is available by request.

Osteoarthritis in the Maritimes