State of the Science in the Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting 27 million Americans. In an effort to raise awareness and increase knowledge of OA among the nursing community, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the American Journal of Nursing and the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses will present a groundbreaking two-day symposium: “State-of-the-Science in the Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis” on Thursday, July 14, and Friday, July 15.

Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, renowned for its leadership in the fields of orthopedics and rheumatology, will host the two-day symposium at the hospital’s Richard Menschel Conference Center.

“Our goal is to synthesize the existing research on best practices in osteoarthritis care and develop strategies for improving nurses’ knowledge and competencies in the areas of OA prevention, early detection, treatment and promotion of optimum function,” said Laura Robbins, DSW, senior vice president for education and academic affairs and an associate scientist in the research division at Hospital for Special Surgery.

“Another objective of the conference is to identify the challenges and gaps in research that must be addressed to improve the nurse’s role in the delivery of evidence-based care.”

The conference will feature a culturally diverse group of thought leaders from the areas of nursing practice, education and research, as well as speakers from consumer advocacy groups and a representative from the Centers for Disease Control Arthritis Program. Those attending the conference will receive continuing education units.

Among the topics to be explored:
• Best practices in patient assessment and early intervention
• The state of the science of current treatments and strategies to prevent immobility and manage the effects of OA
• Clinical, educational and research priorities for developing best nursing practices to meet the needs of people with OA
• How to enhance the awareness, skill sets and competencies of nurses working with patients and families.

“Nurses are accessible, approachable and consistently ranked by consumers among the most trusted health professionals,” said Maureen “Shawn” Kennedy, MA, RN, editorial director and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Nursing. “As a group, nurses are ideally suited to convey health messages to the public. Yet many nurses may be unaware of early symptoms, strategies for prevention and early intervention to slow disease progression, preserve high functioning and optimize quality of life.”

Organizers intend to publish and widely disseminate a report on the symposium presentations and proceedings, according to Dr. Robbins. The report will include recommendations for improving care. It will be posted online at and on the nursing portal site,, with links to web sites of project partners and others to make it widely available. It will be sent to subscribers of the American Journal of Nursing
and to Orthopaedic Nursing.

“As the largest group of health care providers most often encountered in any health care setting, nurses are in a key position to have an impact on reducing disability from OA,” said Patricia Quinlan, R.N., DNSc, MPA, director of nursing education, quality and research at Hospital for Special Surgery. “It is well within the nurse’s scope of practice to educate the public about early recognition of symptoms and to initiate timely intervention, including a wide range of treatments.”

About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a serious and painful joint disease that limits mobility and impairs quality of life. Most often affecting the hip and knee, half of all adults will develop symptomatic OA of the knee at some point in their lives.

The socioeconomic burden of the disease is staggering. The economic impact is $128 billion: $81 billion for direct health care expenditures and $47 billion in indirect costs related to lost earnings. OA results in 992,000 hospitalizations and 44 million outpatient visits annually. More than 770,000 hip and knee replacements are performed each year in the United States.

Public health data indicate that the prevalence, impact and economic consequences of osteoarthritis are expected to rise dramatically within the next several decades.

About the Symposium Partners

Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City is the oldest orthopedic hospital in the country. Recognized since its inception as a world leader in musculoskeletal medicine, its vision is to lead the world as the most innovative source of medical care, the premier research institution and the most trusted educator in the field of orthopedics, rheumatology and their related disciplines. HSS is New York City’s only two-time recipient of Nursing’s highest honor, Magnet Status for Nursing Excellence, and U.S. News & World Report has named Hospital for Special Surgery the number one hospital for orthopedics in the nation.

The American Journal of Nursing, “the leading voice of nursing since 1900,” is considered the profession’s premier publication. Peer-reviewed and evidence-based, AJN is the recipient of numerous awards, and in 2009 it was the only nursing journal named among the “100 Most Influential Journals in Biology & Medicine over the last 100 Years,” by the BioMedical & Life Sciences Division of the Special Libraries Association. It is the oldest continuing circulating nursing journal in the world, with 102,000 print circulation, including 1,500 libraries and a pass-along readership providing dissemination in print to more than 250,000 nurses. Online, the journal is the leading nursing journal viewed on Ovid, a database library serving over 90 percent of the world’s medical libraries. Its web site,, receives on average over 55,000 visitors per month and 280,000 views.

The National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) was formed in 1980 to promote the highest standards of nursing practice by educating its practitioners, promoting research and encouraging effective communication between orthopaedic nurses and other groups with similar interests. NAON represents approximately 6,000 national and international members and associate members who share an interest in musculoskeletal healthcare. NAON members practice in a wide variety of settings, including: hospital, military, outpatient practice, nursing home, industry, academia, and home health. The mission of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses is to advance the specialty of orthopaedic nursing through excellence in research, education and nursing practice.


Source: Hospital for Special Surgery

Provided by ArmMed Media