Health professionals and students encounter multi-level barriers to implementing high-value osteoarthritis care: a multi-national study Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:Consistent evidence-practice gaps in osteoarthritis (OA) care are observed in primary care settings globally. Building workforce capacity to deliver high-value care requires a contemporary understanding of barriers to care delivery. We aimed to explore barriers to OA care delivery among clinicians and students. DESIGN:A cross-sectional, multinational study sampling clinicians (physiotherapists, primary care nurses, general practitioners (GPs), GP registrars; total possible denominator: n = 119,735) and final-year physiotherapy and medical students (denominator: n = 2,215) across Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Respondents answered a survey, aligned to contemporary implementation science domains, which measured barriers to OA care using categorical and free-text responses. RESULTS:1886 clinicians and 1611 students responded. Items within the domains 'health system' and 'patient-related factors' represented the most applicable barriers experienced by clinicians (25-42% and 20-36%, respectively), whereas for students, 'knowledge and skills' and 'patient-related factors' (16-24% and 19-28%, respectively) were the most applicable domains. Meta-synthesis of qualitative data highlighted skills gaps in specific components of OA care (tailoring exercise, nutritional/overweight management and supporting positive behaviour change); assessment, measurement and monitoring; tailoring care; managing case complexity; and translating knowledge to practice (especially among students). Other barriers included general infrastructure limitations (particularly related to community facilities); patient-related factors (e.g., beliefs and compliance); workforce-related factors such as inconsistent care and a general knowledge gap in high-value care; and system and service-level factors relating to financing and time pressures, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Clinicians and students encounter barriers to delivery of high-value OA care in clinical practice/training (micro-level); within service environments (meso-level); and within the health system (macro-level).


  • Briggs, AM
  • Houlding, E
  • Hinman, RS
  • Desmond, LA
  • Bennell, KL
  • Darlow, B
  • Pizzari, Tania
  • Leech, M
  • MacKay, C
  • Larmer, PJ
  • Bendrups, Andrew P
  • Greig, AM
  • Francis-Cracknell, A
  • Jordan, JE
  • Slater, H

publication date

  • 2019