Today's News

Saturday, February 26, 2005

AAOS keeps patient education up-to-date

By Nancy Fehr

Under the leadership of J. Sybil Biermann, MD, the AAOS Patient Education Committee is working hard to keep Web-based patient education materials up-to-date. Dr. Biermann is leading an extensive process to review and update all of the content on Your Orthopaedic Connection, the AAOS patient education Web site (orthoinfo.aaos.org).

With the help of qualified, interested AAOS physician volunteers, a project team of more than 50 orthopaedist authors and peer reviewers has already begun revising and adding content. Eventually, all content on Your Orthopaedic Connection will be reviewed and updated on a three-year cycle.

"Currency of up-to-date medical information is especially important on the Web," Dr. Biermann noted. "In early 2004, we made the decision to move to a physician-authored model, with increased use of relevant visual images to accompany text in the patient education articles."

Basic articles
The list of new and updated patient education modules that have already been completed for Your Orthopaedic Connection includes many "basic articles." Basic articles are written to the eighth-grade reading level for easy comprehension.

All basic articles follow the same general format. They begin with a description of the condition, then discuss risk factors and prevention. A discussion of symptoms is followed by descriptions of nonsurgical treatment options. Surgical treatment options are also covered, as is information about research on the horizon and what's new.

Links to additional information, as well as to author and medical reviewer information, are provided at the end of each article. An online feedback form enables patients to respond and make comments on the materials.

Informed choice modules

In addition to basic articles, Dr. Biermann has developed a new in-depth format called "informed choice" modules.

"Informed choice modules are highly referenced with comprehensive information designed to help a patient 'gather all of the facts' to make an informed, shared decision with their physician at certain points during treatment," she explained.

For example, Your Orthopaedic Connection's informed choice module, "Rotator Cuff Repair: Surgery versus Rehabilitation" helps a patient weigh the pros and cons of having surgery versus using physical therapy to repair a torn rotator cuff.

"Informed choice modules contribute to the vision for a 'patient-centered culture', in which an informed patient works together with his or her doctor to help decide what is best in their particular case," Dr. Biermann said.

Informed choice modules have a slightly different a general format. Each begins with a discussion of anatomy and pathophysiology, followed by a description of the natural history of the condition. Surgical and non-surgical treatment options are outlined, and the benefits and limits of nonopertive treatment are discussed. Surgical intervention and considerations, a description of the operative procedure, and potential operative complications are covered, as well as rehabilitation/convalescence.

Revisit the site
If it's been some time since you've visited Your Orthopaedic Connection, it's time to go back and take a second look at the revised and updated articles. Articles are constantly being revised, updated or added. Recently, the entire contents of the section on "Children" has been reviewed and updated, with the cooperation of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. New articles include information on Giant Cell Tumors, Rotator Cuff Tear: Surgery versus Rehabilitation, and Spinal Surgery for Fractured Vertebrae.

New/revised titles
10 Common Questions About Playground Safety
Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain
Back Pain in Children
Backpack Safety
Bone Tumor
Bone Up on Bone Loss
Care of Casts and Splints
Cerebral Palsy
Child Safety Seats
Congenital Torticollis (Twisted Neck)
Developmental Dislocation (Dysplasia) of the Hip (DDH)
Doctors Consider Quality of Life in Children's Fractures
Dupuytren's Contracture
Elbow Fractures in Children
Flexible Flatfoot in Children
Forearm Fractures in Children
Frozen Shoulder
Giant Cell Tumor
Growth Plate Fractures
Herniated Disk
Importance of Physical Activity for Persons with Mental Retardation
Juvenile Arthritis: Part 1
Juvenile Arthritis: Part 2
Kids Need to Get Up, Get Out and Get Moving
Kyphosis (Curvature of the Spine)
Limb Lengthening
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
Muscular Dystrophy
Musculoskeletal Effects of Down Syndrome
Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain)
Osteochondroma (Bone Tumor)
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Osteoporosis Prevention Starts Early
Pediatric Thighbone (Femur) Fracture
Playground Safety
Playground Safety Tips for Kids
Preventing Childhood Pedestrian Injuries
Recreational Activities and Childhood Injuries
Rotator Cuff Tear: Surgery versus Rehabilitation
Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents
Skateboarding Safety
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Spinal Surgery for Fractured Vertebrae
Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis
Steroids Don't Work Out
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Throwing Injuries in the Elbow
Unicameral (Simple) Bone Cyst

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