Utilization of Ambulatory Care for Osteoarthritis Treatment, 1998




Davidson, Latunya N.


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Davidson, Latunya N., Utilization of Ambulatory Care for Osteoarthritis Treatment, 1998. Master of Public Health (Epidemiology), May 2001, 26 pp., 4 tables, bibliography, 21 titles. Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability among the adult population. It is estimated that more than 20 million people in the United States have osteoarthritis and more than 50% of those 65 and older have evidence of the disease. The debilitating effects of the disease are responsible for more than 7 million physician visits annually. In fact osteoarthritis account for more hospitalizations than rheumatoid arthritis each year. Treatment costs to the patients, healthcare expenditures, increasing prevalence of the diseases, and its effect on disability are all major public health issues. The purpose of this research is to identify characteristics as they relate to the type of ambulatory visits and the therapeutics services provided. Factors to be considered include: age, gender, race, ethnicity and source of payment for services. Data will be obtained from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) of 1998. Information obtained from this research may influence future public health decisions regarding education, treatment and management of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.