Do physiotherapists document weight and discuss the influence of weight on pathology in patients with osteoarthritis?
A. Brennan; M. Maria; P. Robinson; M. Fitzgerald; H. Nolan; E. Sheehy; A. Curley; E. Lee Moloney; R. McCullom; C. Kelleher; et al.
Year of publication
Annals of the rheumatic diseases
Background: There is a strong association between increased body weight and osteoarthritis (OA). The NICE (2014) and ACR (2012) guidelines strongly recommend that patients with OA consider weight loss if overweight. Objectives: The aim of this audit was to investigate if physiotherapists treating patients with knee and lumbar‐spine OA: i) Documented patients weight; ii) Discussed the role of increased weight on OA Methods: An audit of seventy physiotherapy charts of patients attending physiotherapy in 2013 found that 15percent (knee) and 11percent (lumbar‐spine) had their weight documented. The role of increased weight was discussed with 15percent (knee) and 11percent (lumbar‐spine). A “BMI station” was set up to use with patients. A lifestyle education class was established. In 2015 a re‐audit was carried out on patients who attended for physiotherapy in 2014. Results: Seventy physiotherapy charts were randomly selected and included. The median age was 64years (knee) and 53years (lumbar‐spine). Of these 7 were male and 23 female (knee), 17 were male and 19 female (lumbar‐spine). Of these, 38percent (knee) and 31percent (lumbar‐spine) had their weight documented. The role of increased weight was discussed with 19percent (n=7) (knee) and 22percent (n=8) (lumbar‐spine). Conclusions: Physiotherapists have improved in relation to documenting weight and discussing the role of increased weight on OA since the previous audit. However, it is evident that they do not regularly document weight in patients with knee and lumbar‐spine OA or document if they advised patients regarding the role of weight management for the treatment of OA. Further strategies to address this are necessary.