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Hand osteoarthritis is the most common joint condition and is associated with significant morbidity. It is of paramount importance that patients are thoroughly assessed and examined when complaining of hand stiffness, pain, deformity or disability and that the patient's concerns and expectations are addressed by the healthcare professional. In 2019 the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation (ACR/AF) produced guidelines which included recommendations for the treatment of hand osteoarthritis. An ESCEO expert working group (including patients) was convened and composed this paper with the aim to assess whether these guidelines were appropriate for the treatment of hand osteoarthritis therapy in Europe and whether they met with the ESCEO patient-centered approach. Indeed, patients are the key stakeholders in healthcare and eliciting the patient's preference is vital in the context of an individual consultation but also for informing research and policy-making. The patients involved in this working group emphasised the often-neglected area of aesthetic changes in hand osteoarthritis, importance of developing pharmacological therapies which can alleviate pain and disability and the need of the freedom to choose which approach (out of pharmacological, surgical or non-pharmacological) they wished to pursue. Following robust appraisal, it was recommended that the ACR/AF guidelines were suitable for a European context (as described within the body of the manuscript) and it was emphasised that patient preferences are key to the success of individual consultations, future research and future policy-making.

Original publication




Journal article


Aging clin exp res

Publication Date



Hand, Management, Osteoarthritis, Patient-centered, Treatment guideline