The objective of this study was to establish priority key messages for patients with osteoarthritis. A Delphi survey and priority pairwise ranking activity was conducted. Participants included 51 osteoarthritis experts from 13 countries and 9 patients (consumers) living with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis. Over three Delphi rounds, the panel of experts and consumers rated suggestions extracted from clinical guidelines and provided additional statements they considered important. When 70% or more of panel members agreed a statement was ‘essential’ it was retained for the next Delphi round. The final list of essential statements was reviewed by a consumer focus group and statements were modified for clarity if necessary. Finally, a priority pairwise ranking activity determined the rank order of the list of essential messages. 85 experts and 15 consumers were invited to participate; 51 experts and 9 consumers completed Round 1 of the Delphi survey, and 43 experts and 8 consumers completed the final priority ranking activity. From an original list of 114 statements, 21 statements were rated essential. The majority (n=17) of statements related to non-drug treatment approaches for osteoarthritis. Study limitations included that more than 50% of the panel comprised of physical therapists leading to high rankings of exercise and physical activity statements and also that only English language statements were considered.
Osteoarthritis experts and consumers have identified and prioritised 21 key patient messages related to osteoarthritis. These messages may be used to inform the content of consumer educational materials to ensure patients are educated about the most significant aspects of osteoarthritis and its management.