Study finds chronic pain management, falls and limited access to care are critical issues among the medically underserved

Study finds chronic pain management, falls and limited access to care are critical issues among the medically underserved

HSS has launched a major survey, partnering with community organizations to identify community musculoskeletal health needs

PHILADELPHIA CREAM, November 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The first step to improving the health of a community is to identify its most pressing needs. To that end, in 2022, the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) implemented a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to assess musculoskeletal health needs, identify health disparities, and support development initiatives to address unmet needs.

Critical issues included a lack of health education and awareness about the management of arthritis and other painful conditions; a high incidence of falls in the community; and limited access to care among underserved populations.

The study, “Assessing Musculoskeletal Health Needs of Underserved Patients & Community Members Using a Community Based Participatory Research Approach,” was presented virtually at ACR Convergence 2022, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in philadelphia cream.

“Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common health problems in United Statesresulting in financial and social burdens, especially in underserved communities,” explained Titilayo Adeniran, MPH, Director of Results and Data Analytics at HSS Education Institute. “Studies show that disparities in musculoskeletal health disproportionately affect women, older adults, and racial/ethnic minorities.”

HSS researchers used a mixed-methods approach to develop a community health needs assessment (CHNA). “For quantitative data, we disseminated a community survey in four languages ​​– English, Spanish, Chinese and Russian – to assess the socio-demographic characteristics of the populations we serve; health status and quality of life; health behaviors and health care utilization and access, and health education needs,” Adeniran explained. “For qualitative data, we conducted interviews with 22 community partners, including community organizations, municipal agencies and state and universities.”

The survey was distributed in a variety of ways, including online, via email, using Alchemer panels, in person and by post over a four-week period from January 15 to February 15, 2022. A total of 18,248 patients and community members responded to the surveys, with 57% representing a diverse and underserved population.

In addition to surveys, interviews with community partners provided valuable insight into unmet health needs, Adeniran noted. The community organizations represented the five boroughs of New York City, as well as surrounding areas serving racially/ethnically diverse populations. They represented all ages, genders and socio-economic groups.

Main findings:

  • Chronic pain, osteoarthritis or another form of arthritis were the most common musculoskeletal conditions reported in the survey.
  • Among respondents with musculoskeletal conditions, a lack of confidence in symptom management emerged as a health need, especially among medically underserved community members.
  • Nearly a third of all respondents said they had fallen in the past year.
  • People with chronic pain, fibromyalgia or lupus were more likely to report two or more weeks of poor physical and mental health.
  • Medically underserved respondents with a diagnosis of lupus, chronic pain, or rheumatoid arthritis were more likely to have used a prescription opioid to manage pain.
  • Health education emerged as a top need, with 70% of respondents saying they had not attended any health education in the past 12 months. The main reasons were fear of COVID-19 and not knowing about educational programs.
  • The top issues impacting respondents’ health and well-being were COVID-19 issues, social isolation/loneliness, limited places to exercise, and limited access to healthy food.
  • The survey identified a need to address access to healthcare, with 42% of respondents saying they had not been able to access healthcare in the past 12 months, compared to 8% in a survey conducted in 2019. The main barriers were difficulty getting an appointment, lack of affordability or a service not covered by insurance. The need for transportation was also cited among the medically underserved.
  • The most common type of discrimination reported in medical settings was that a doctor or nurse did not listen to the respondent. More than half of survey respondents mentioned this problem.

“Broad community engagement is critical to the success of any CBPR approach when assessing community health needs and identifying health disparities,” said Sandra Goldsmith, MA, MS, RD, vice – Deputy President of the HSS Education Institute. “The results of our study will allow us to raise awareness of the disparities that continue to affect our diverse and underserved populations and help us develop community initiatives to promote health equity.”

“Assessing the musculoskeletal health needs of underserved patients and community members using a community-based participatory research approach”

Titilayo Adeniran, Bertilia Trieu, Sandra Goldsmith and Laura RobinSpecial Surgery Hospital, New York, NY

About RSS

HSS is the world’s first academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its heart is Hospital for Special Surgery, ranked #1 in Orthopedics nationally (for the 13th consecutive year), #3 in Rheumatology by US News & World Report (2022-2023), and Best Pediatric Orthopedic Hospital in NY, NJ and CT by US News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” (2022-2023). In a survey of healthcare professionals in over 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked #1 worldwide in orthopedics for the third consecutive year (2023). Founded in 1863, the hospital has the lowest complication and readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection rates. HSS was the first in New York State receive five consecutive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. A subsidiary of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York StateAs good as inside Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS is at the forefront of research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute includes 20 laboratories and 300 staff members who focus on advancing musculoskeletal health through the prevention of tissue degeneration, repair and regeneration. The HSS Innovation Institute strives to realize the potential of new drugs, therapies and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, college students and consumers in more than 145 countries. The institution collaborates with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class SSS care more widely available nationally and internationally.

SOURCE Special Surgery Hospital

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