Results of poor patient education in Osteoarthritis:

The clinical study I did on Osteoarthritis and studies of various diseases demonstrate that a patient’s perception of his or her disease directly affects his or her behavior with regard to the disease. Patient perceptions encompass all aspects of a disease, including etiology (it’s cause), pathophysiology (how the disease will progress and what is wrong), treatment, prognosis (the future), and overall effect on lifestyle. Several models of disease have been utilized as frameworks for the study of patient perceptions of disease, and a variety of diseases have been studied.

The definition of a disease is not just medical or scientific in nature; part of the definition is based upon social and historical factors, aspects that are patient-specific. All patients operate under the framework of their own models of illness, making decisions about behaviors and treatments based upon their self-constructed models. Perceptions and ideas regarding an illness, which have accumulated through experiences, are often biased by culture. This type of model is dynamic and patient-specific; it changes with experiences and culture. The importance of communicating ideas and perceptions under which a patient operates is in achieving optimal treatment outcomes and clear communication between a physician and a patient. Patient models should encompass all critical aspects of an illness including:

1) Etiology (the cause of a disease)

2) Disease onset as noted by signs and symptoms

3) Pathophysiology (change in the normal function) of the disease

4) Prognosis and course of the disease

5) Disease treatment and proposed outcome