Objective: To assess the perceived quality of care received by people with osteoarthritis (OA) in Norway and explore factors associated with the quality of care.
Methods: A national survey in which members of the Norwegian Rheumatism Association with OA registered as their main diagnosis completed a questionnaire. The perceived quality of care was reported on a 17-item OsteoArthritis Quality Indicator questionnaire, covering both pharmacological and non-pharmacological aspects of OA care. In addition, the four-page questionnaire covered areas related to demographic characteristics, the location and impact of the OA, and utilization and satisfaction with health care services. The quality of care is calculated as pass rates, where the numerator represents the number of indicators passed and the denominator represents the number of eligible persons.
Results: In total, 1,247 participants (response rate 57%) completed the questionnaire. Mean age was 68 years (standard deviation 32) and 1,142 (92%) were women. Respondents reported OA in hand only (12.4%), hip only (7.3%), knee only (10.4%), in two locations (42%) or all three locations (27%). The overall OsteoArthritis Quality Indicator pass rate was 47% (95% confidence interval [CI] 46%-48%), and it was higher for pharmacological aspects (53% [51%-54%]) than for non-pharmacological aspects of care (44% [43%-46%]). The pass rate for the individual quality indicators ranged from 8% for "referral for weight reduction" to 81% for "receiving advice about exercises". Satisfaction with care was strongly associated with perceived quality. The pass rate for those who were "very satisfied" was 33% (25%-40%) higher than those who were "very unsatisfied" with care.
Conclusion: While the OA patient seems to be rather satisfied with the perceived OA care, there is still room for improvement in the quality of care. Although the quality of care in the present study is somewhat higher than in other studies, less than 50% of the recommended care has been provided.
Keywords: general practitioner; pass rate; physiotherapy; quality indicator.