Saturday, February 26, 2005
AAOS keeps patient education up-to-dateBy 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."
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