AAOS introduces 2006 PSA campaign

By Nicholas A. DiNubile, MD, and Kory D’Angelo

Educating the public — whether a child, younger adult, baby boomer or octogenarian — on how to minimize and prevent painful bone, joint and muscle-related injuries and conditions is vital. That’s why the Academy’s 7th annual multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign focuses on the musculoskeletal conditions that orthopaedic surgeons diagnose and treat, and the difference they make in their patients’ lives. The campaign also stresses the importance of Getting Better Together and working with the appropriate orthopaedic health care team to minimize painful bone and joint conditions throughout a lifetime.

Developed with specialty societies — including the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) — these compelling ads focus on encouraging physician-patient communication, options for relieving hip and knee pain, the importance of exercise to prevent osteoporosis, minimizing sports injuries in baby boomers and children and reducing playground injuries. The campaign includes 10 ads: five print (in English and Spanish), three radio and two television.

The PSA campaign materials, which receive $5 million to $8 million in free airtime and space, are distributed nationally to 1,500 television/cable outlets, 3,500 radio outlets and 7,000 print outlets. The public service messages are also displayed in more than 200 airports across the country. To increase visibility of the television PSA ads, AAOS is partnering with all 51 state orthopaedic societies (including Washington, D.C.).

“PSAs are a great way to communicate that we, as orthopaedic surgeons, are concerned about our patients’ health,” explained John M. Purvis, MD, chair of the AAOS Public Education and Media Relations (PEMR) Committee. “These ads stimulate conversations between patients and physicians, as well as encourage patients to ask questions. This, in turn, helps ensure that patients are receiving appropriate, quality care.”

Getting Better Together

To help patients and the public understand the significance of collaborating with a physician to jointly make the best health care decisions, the 2006 PSA campaign features both a print and radio ad on Getting Better Together through patient-centered care.

“Got questions for your doctor? Write them down” is the focus of the patient-centered care print ad, (shown below) which shows a woman’s arm cast covered with hand-scrawled questions for the doctor. The ad’s text informs patients that open, honest communication — which includes asking doctors medical questions — is essential to understanding the treatment options available and bettering their health care experiences. This ad is offered in both English and Spanish.

Mirroring the “Cast” ad, the “Date with a Doc” 60- and 30-second radio ads highlight the importance of patients’ bringing a friend or family member to a doctor’s appointment to make sure the patient and physician are on the same page.

Relieving hip and knee pain

Hip and knee pain causes many Americans to suffer and accounted for approximately 21 million physician visits in 2003. To inform the public about new orthopaedic developments to help reduce hip and knee pain and improve quality of life, AAOS teamed up with AAHKS for the “Stairway” print ad (shown on page 1). This ad depicts how hip and knee pain turns normal daily activities into epic challenges that need to be “conquered.”

The theme of the 60-, 30- and 15-second television ad, “Mailbox,” portrays how routine activities — such as walking to the mailbox — can become tiring, exhausting ordeals for those suffering from chronic hip or knee pain. With new options available to treat or eliminate this pain, however, it’s now easier for patients to have more “spring” in their step.

Injury prevention

As a natural expansion to AAOS’ Prevent Injuries America! program, several print and radio ads help educate the public about ways to minimize and prevent musculoskeletal injuries.

A joint message from the Academy and POSNA features a father with an “old” elbow injury teaching his daughter how to hit a baseball. This ad stresses that what may seem to be “minor” injuries — such as “Little League Elbow” or broken bones — can cause serious problems later in life if improperly treated.

The “Boomer” print ad (shown below) — developed with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association — highlights how reducing baby boomer-related sports injuries requires working with the right team. It emphasizes that the key to staying physically active after decades of exercise is to listen to your body and seek help from the appropriate experts.

Spending time on the playground can be a great form of exercise for many children. However, each year, approximately 500,000 children sustain playground-related injuries stemming from sharp edges, broken equipment, hard landing surfaces and improper adult supervision. The 60- and 30-second radio ad entitled “Painground” highlights the ways adults can minimize a child’s injuries on the playground.

Joan Rivers PSAs:

“Beauty is Bone Deep”

Currently, more than 25 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and approximately 34 million more are at risk. Because the bone disease is easier to prevent than treat, the Academy worked with Joan Rivers to develop the “Beauty is Bone Deep” print ad, and 60-, 30- and 15-second television and radio ads.

Playing off of her keen sense of humor, Joan shares her new-found “secret”: Engaging in regular weight-bearing exercises and maintaining a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D are essential to maintaining a healthy frame throughout life.

Patient education material

To view the 2006 PSAs, please visit www.aaos.org/pemr and select “Public Service Announcement Information” from the menu on the left. All print ads — in both poster and postcard sizes — as well as television and radio ads are available for use as patient education materials in offices or around the community. To order these materials, please contact Pat Julitz in the PEMR department at (847) 384-4036 or julitz@aaos.org. For more information on how to use the Academy’s PSA campaign materials in your community.

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