Communication, a crucial tool for improving the quality of life of osteoarthritis patients


OA is a degenerative disease que afecta al cartílago, hueso subcondral y tejidos blandos de la articulación. Según publicaciones recientes, se calcula que ya la sufren casi 600 millones de personas en todo el mundo y las previsiones apuntan a que estos números aumentaran de manera acelerada con el aumento de la esperanza de vida.

Osteoarthritis, a great unknown

When a patient is first confronted with his or her diagnosis of the disease and discovers that the pain he or she is experiencing is due to osteoarthritis, it is common for him or her to feel overwhelmed and adopt a pessimistic attitude.

“What does it mean to have osteoarthritis? Does it mean that I am already ‘old’? Will I be able to get better if I have always been told that there is nothing to be done?”

These are some questions that many patients ask themselves when faced with this situation of despair and which arise from a lack of knowledge about the disease. Osteoarthritis has always been an unknown disease that has been relegated to something “natural” in the process of getting older and that, therefore, we must assume and resign ourselves to suffer from it.

Communication, one of the best medicines

However, the reality is quite different. Osteoarthritis is not just a disease of older people and, contrary to popular belief, there are many options for improving it. It is here, therefore, where communication plays a key role: the best way to combat misinformation and help to approach osteoarthritis from an optimistic point of view is truthful, simple and direct communication to the patient.

In this sense, it is essential that institutions and organizations such as OAFI, as patient representatives and experts in the disease, are responsible for communicating and disseminating all the necessary information to patients so that they can understand their disease and see that all is never lost. Good communication will give patients the understanding they need to face and manage their disease more effectively.

Understanding and empowerment, the keys to improvement

Osteoarthritis, as we have seen, can be a bewildering term for many patients. Clear and understandable communication by entities that are in direct contact with patients (healthcare professionals, foundations such as OAFI, associations etc) is essential to explain medical concepts in an accessible way, avoiding confusion and unnecessary fears and helping them to gain motivation so that they can become involved with their disease and improve their quality of life.

Effective communication empowers patients by providing them with information about their condition and available treatment options. This knowledge enables them to make informed decisions about their medical care and take an active role in their well-being.

For this reason, communication is one of the key tasks of our foundation. At OAFI, we carry out different initiatives such as our video-podcasts OAFIRadio&TV, awareness-raising campaigns, a blog with the latest news on joint health, among others, that follow this philosophy of making available to patients all the necessary tools to better understand the disease and, at the same time, are platforms to give them a voice, always putting them at the center and empowering them in their pathology.

Cristina Nova

Director of Communication and Audiovisuals Area

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash