Programme no. 230-OP
Public Health
Adolescents with patellofemoral pain do not always seek medical care – results from a population-based cohort
Michael Rathleff*1, Jens Olesen2, Camilla Rathleff3, Ewa Roos4, Sten Rasmussen5, Martin Bach Jensen*6
1Department of Clinical Medicine,Aarhus University,Aarhus,Denmark, 2Department of Rheumatology,Aalborg University Hospital,Aalborg,Denmark, 3Orthopaedic Surgery Research Unit,Aalborg University Hospital,Aalborg,Denmark, 4Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics,University of Southern Denmark,Odense,Denmark, 5Orthopaedic Surgery Research Unit,Aalborg University Hospital,Aalborg,Denmark, 6Research Unit for General Practice in the North Denmark Region and Department of Clinical Medicine,Aalborg University,Aalborg,Denmark
* = Presenting author
Objectives: To investigate the care-seeking behaviour among adolescents with PFP.
Background: Between 19 and 31% of adolescents report knee pain with patellofemoral pain (PFP) being one of the most common knee conditions among adolescents with a prevalence of 6-7%. A large proportion of adolescents with PFP do not receive treatment. It is unclear if this is because they do not seek medical care or if they are not offered treatment after seeking medical care. The purpose of this study was to investigate the care-seeking behaviour among adolescents with PFP identified from a population-based cohort.
Results: 60/95 of the adolescents from whom data was available had consulted their GP about their knee pain and the median number of contacts was 1.5 (range 1-7). The GPs initiated treatment in 48 out of the 60 adolescents who consulted their GP. The most common treatment used by the GP was information and advice (36/48) followed by pain medication (6/48). 26/60 of the adolescents who consulted their GP were at some stage referred, most commonly to physiotherapy followed by the departments of rheumatology and orthopaedics.
Material/Methods: A retrospective investigation of the care-seeking behaviour among 121 adolescents with PFP enrolled in a randomized controlled trial was conducted. A questionnaire was sent to each adolescent’s general practitioner (GP). The questionnaire included questions on the dates for consultations regarding knee pain, potential diagnoses, if treatment was initiated and if the adolescent was referred for further investigations.
Conclusion: 60/95 of adolescents from a population-based cohort diagnosed with PFP had previously consulted their GP because of knee pain. There were large heterogeneity among the treatments initiated by the GP, the most common being general advice and information.
Points for discussion: Less than 2/3 of the adolescents with PFP consulted their GP because of their knee pain. Among adolescents who consulted their GP, the GP initiated treatment in 48/60, while 26/60 at some point were referred to primary or secondary care. These findings demonstrate the need to discuss initiatives that address both the adolescents and the GPs to ensure early and evidence based treatment of adolescent PFP.