The Osteoarthritis Foundation International (OAFI) and the Pharmacology Unit of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (Campus Clinic) of the University of Barcelona have signed an agreement by which both entities will collaborate in the training of health professionals, psychologists, nurses and physiotherapists, in the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis patients (elderly, athletes, post-menopausal women and children), to provide their patients with the necessary tools to self-manage their disease.
Dr. Josep Vergés, President of OAFI, commented: “Osteoarthritis is a serious disease that is increasingly present in our society. Currently, more than 7 million people in Spain suffer from OA and the trend is for its incidence to continue to rise. It is necessary to have trained health professionals, nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists capable of responding to the health demands of patients with osteoarthritis and who can offer safe and effective diagnoses and treatments to improve their quality of life. “
For her part, Dr. Amalia Lafuente, professor of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona, said: “From our Unit we will collaborate with the Foundation by providing our training capacity in different areas, both pharmacological and lifestyle, so that osteoarthritis patients can manage their disease correctly. “
With the signing of this collaboration agreement, the University of Barcelona joins the World Association of Osteoarthritis, a network led by OAFI which is made up of patient associations, medical societies, research centers and public administrations, among other agents involved in research and awareness of this pathology and in improving joint health in society. The agreement will help the development of professionals, knowledge, research and training in osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis. Description of the disease and epidemiological data
Osteoarthritis is a serious degenerative joint disease that affects both the cartilage and the bone and soft tissues of the joint. It causes pain and limits our ability to perform our usual tasks. Worldwide, it is estimated that 242 million people suffer from it and in Spain the figure stands at 7 million patients. It is also one of the main causes of permanent and temporary incapacity for work.
Currently, osteoarthritis represents an average annual cost of 4,738 million euros for the Spanish Health System (focusing only on knee and hip osteoarthritis) and, despite its social impact, it is still an unknown and distant disease for most of the population. However, it affects a very fragmented patient population with very different needs: the elderly, athletes, post-menopausal women and young people.