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Treating Osteoarthritis: Evidence-Based Research Essay (Article)

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The reliance on clinical evidence obtained through research can be seen as one of the most effective methods of increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of medicine. The present paper will attempt to utilize the evidence and the findings of clinical research in providing treatment recommendations to resident A.B – an 84years female who has a history of thrombocytopenia, osteoarthritis, interstitial cystitis, and slight dementia. The paper will mostly focus on the findings related to pain complaints and treating Osteoarthritis.

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Problem Statement

In the present research, the problem is resident A.B. whose medical diagnosis is Thrombocytopenia. Additionally, she complains of acute osteoarthritis pain which she rates 8/10, and which is not relieved. The patient has a history of progressively worsening osteoarthritis.

Literature Review

In Tsai, Chu, Lai and Chen (2008), the authors clinically tested the importance of dealing with pain in the elderly population with osteoarthritis in Taiwan. The authors outlined the differences in the mechanisms of coping with pain in the aforementioned population, between pharmacological and non-pharmacological. Accordingly, the relationship between the way the elderly population deals with pain and scores with worst pain outlined significant differences in the scores of the satisfaction with the living situation. Furthermore, the scores of satisfaction with living situation, i.e. the intensity of average pain, pain interference with walking, pain interference with sleeping and pain control beliefs, can be used as predictors of the intensity of the worst pain (Tsai, Chu, Lai, & Chen, 2008, p. 2602).

In Merkle and McDonald (2008), on the other hand, the problems of osteoarthritis in elderly adults were approached from the perspective of investigating the types of treatment the elderly use to manage pain and the correlation of the types of treatment used with the demographics of the population. His study distinguished between three types of treatment of osteoarthritis, non-traditional, traditional, and recommended gold standard treatment (the combination of acetaminophen/paracetamol or NSAIDs, combined with physical therapy or exercise) (Merkle & McDonald, 2008, p. 830). The study revealed that there was a correlation between demographic characteristics and the type of treatment used to manage osteoarthritis pain.

Findings and Recommendations

The findings of the articles indicate the importance of managing the pain and adherence to recommended pain medication. In that regard, the practical implication of such findings in the present case can be summarized through the following points:

Conduct assessments of pain, its frequency, and monitor coping strategies.
Monitor adherence to the medication.
Conducting group discussions with the patient and her relatives on the efficiency of a recommended medication.

The average pain and the worst pain experienced by the patients have a direct relation, as the findings revealed in the review. In that regard, the importance of coping with everyday pain through recommended medication might provide improvements in the degree of worst experienced pain.


The present paper outlined the findings of evidence-based research related to the treatment of osteoarthritis pain in the elderly population. These findings can be used for the main participant of the present research, the resident A.B. According to the findings of the research, it is recommended that that the daily coping with pain mechanisms of the patient be monitored, to reduce the frequency and the severity of the worst pain experiences. Accordingly, the type and the efficiency of the medication should be discussed with the patient. It can be concluded that the importance of evidence-based medicine cannot be overestimated, which was demonstrated through this paper.

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Merkle, D., & McDonald, D. D. (2008). Use of recommended osteoarthritis pain treatment by older adults. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(4), 828–835. Web.

Tsai, Y.-F., Chu, T.-L., Lai, Y.-H., & Chen, W.-J. (2008). Pain experiences, control beliefs and coping strategies in Chinese elders with osteoarthritis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17, 2596–2603. Web.

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