Parry, EL, Dikomitis, L, Peat, G and Chew-Graham, CA (2021) How do people with knee osteoarthritis perceive and manage flares? A qualitative study. BJGP Open. BJGPO.2021.0086 - BJGPO.2021.0086. ISSN 2398-3795

[thumbnail of BJGPO.2021.0086.full.pdf]
BJGPO.2021.0086.full.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (326kB) | Preview


<jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>Acute flares in people with osteoarthritis (OA) are poorly understood. There is uncertainty around the nature of flares, their impact, and how these are managed.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Aim</jats:title><jats:p>Explore understandings and experiences of flares in people with knee OA, describe self-management and help-seeking strategies</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Design &amp; setting</jats:title><jats:p>Qualitative interview study of people with knee OA in England, United Kingdom.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Method</jats:title><jats:p>Semi-structured interviews with 15 people with knee OA. Thematic analysis using constant comparison methods.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>We identified four main themes: experiencing pain, consequences of acute pain, predicting and avoiding acute pain, and response to acute pain. People with OA described minor episodes which were frequent, fleeting, occurred during everyday activity, had minimal impact, and were generally predictable. This contrasted with severe episodes which were infrequent, had greater impact, and were less likely to be predictable. The latter generally led to feelings of low confidence, vulnerability and of being a burden. The term ‘flare’ was often used to describe the severe events but this was applied inconsistently and some would describe a flare as any increase in pain.</jats:p><jats:p>Participants used numerous self-management strategies but tended to seek help when these had been exhausted, their symptoms led to emotional distress, disturbed sleep, or pain experience worse than usual. Previous experiences shaped whether people sought help and who they sought help from.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusion</jats:title><jats:p>Severe episodes of pain are likely to be synonymous with flares. Developing a common language about flares will allow a shared understanding of these events, early identification and appropriate management.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is Open Access: CC BY license ( © 2021 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( Published by BJGP Open. For editorial process and policies, see: This is an ‘author accepted manuscript’: a manuscript that has been accepted for publication in BJGP Open, but which has not yet undergone subediting, typesetting, or correction. Errors discovered and corrected during this process may materially alter the content of this manuscript, and the latest published version (the Version of Record) should be used in preference to any preceding versions
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 10:41
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2021 10:41

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item