Prevalence and predictors of health care use in patients with early hip or knee osteoarthritis: two-year follow-up data from the CHECK cohort

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2012 Jun;20(6):525-31. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Objective: To describe health care utilization (HCU) and predict analgesic use and health professional (HP) contact at baseline and 2 years in individuals with early symptomatic hip and/or knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Design: Baseline and two-year data on HCU of the 1002 participants from the multi-centre Cohort Hip & Cohort Knee study were used. Six forms of health care services were described: analgesic use, supplement use, contact with a General Practitioner (GP), contact with a HP, contact in secondary care, and alternative medicine use. Multivariable logistic regression was performed in order to identify predisposing, enabling and disease-related variables that predict analgesic use and HP contact at 2 years; treatment modalities of first choice in early OA.

Results: For the hip (n=170), the knee (n=414) and the hip and knee (n=418) group analgesic use (38%, 29% and 47%, respectively), contact with a GP (32%, 38% and 36%, respectively) and contact with a HP (26%, 18% and 20%, respectively), were reported most often at baseline. Contact with a GP significantly decreased, supplement use increased (to about one third), and other treatment modalities remained stable at 2 years. In all three groups, analgesic use at baseline was the strongest predictor for analgesic use at 2 years, whereas contact with a HP at baseline was the strongest predictor of contact with a HP after 2 years. Belonging to a first generation minority was a predisposing risk factor [Odds Ratio (95%-CI), 8.72 (1.55-48.97)] for analgesic use in the hip and knee group.

Conclusions: In early OA, familiarity with HCU and other predisposing factors are, apart from disease-related factors strongly associated with HCU at 2 years. Further research is necessary to examine whether our findings reflect sub-optimal management of early OA in terms of efficacy and equity.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Prevalence
  • Professional-Patient Relations


  • Analgesics