Better Arthritis and Osteoporosis Care initiative

Better Arthritis and Osteoporosis Care (BAOC) is an initiative to improve prevention of arthritis and osteoporosis, facilitate early detection and improve management and quality of life for people with these conditions.

Page last updated: 02 March 2010

The Better Arthritis and Osteoporosis Care (BAOC) 2006-2010 initiative has an emphasis on juvenile idiopathic arthritis, improved primary care, self-management, and secondary and tertiary preventions.

The BAOC initiative is guided by the following key strategic documents:

The BAOC initiative provides funding for activities under the following strategic program areas: Top of page

1. Awareness-raising, consumer education and self-management
2. Health service improvement
3. Health professional education
4. Data monitoring
5. Evaluation

1. Awareness-raising, consumer education and self-management

The awareness-raising and consumer education and self-management program areas seek to raise consumer and health professional awareness of arthritis and osteoporosis prevention strategies, identification, treatment and care.

A range of activities for arthritis include the development of a national arthritis multicultural initiative focusing initially on the Greek and Chinese communities, a national set of arthritis information sheets, a national arthritis self-management training module, rural and remote programs, and an evaluated program of community service announcements. Another activity is a four year program of juvenile arthritis camps which includes the development of national operational guidelines, active targeting of children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and adolescent and young adult education workshops.

Activities for osteoporosis include a 'Prevent the next fracture' awareness program, a vertebral fracture initiative for GPs and consumers, an osteoporosis self-management training module, a national osteoporosis multicultural initiative, a vitamin D and calcium awareness program, a national dissemination project for the healthy bones schools kit, a national osteoporosis risk factors awareness program, a 'Men and Osteoporosis' program, a National Patient Support program and an evaluated program of community service announcements.

2. Health service improvement

This program area seeks to identify and implement qualitative health system improvements in relation to arthritis and osteoporosis by supporting the establishment of national primary care guidelines endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), clinical health workforce education standards, best practice service models, improved care pathways, promotion of the use of agreed and recorded self-management plans and the application of effective multidisciplinary care. Activities include:
  • the development of NHMRC endorsed primary care guidelines for the management of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • the development of primary care guidelines for the management of osteoporosis which require NHMRC endorsement
  • the development of a primary care guide for the management of patients on waiting lists for joint replacement, which has now been completed and
  • the development of musculoskeletal core competencies for medical and allied health undergraduate students.

3. Health professional education

This program area seeks to develop the health workforce by developing and providing education programs on best practice management of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and osteoporosis, including the uptake and use of the arthritis and osteoporosis guidelines. Activities include:
  • promoting uptake by GPs and general practice teams of the new guidelines on rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and osteoporosis, the latter guideline requires NHMRC endorsement and
  • promoting uptake by GPs and general practice teams, that are located in rural and remote regions, of the new guidelines on rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and osteoporosis, the latter guideline requires NHMRC endorsement. Top of page

4. Data monitoring

The objective of this program area is to monitor and report on national data and trends regarding the prevalence and management of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and osteoporosis. The National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions has been established to undertake this work. The centre has produced a number of reports on arthritis and osteoporosis including the report Arthritis and osteoporosis in Australia 2008.

5. Evaluation

In October 2009, an evaluation of the BAOC initiative was completed. It measures achievements to date and assists in providing direction for the initiative beyond the current four year period (2006-2010). The evaluation report was received in January 2010. The future directions of the BAOC initiative from 2010-2014 are presently being considered.

Page last reviewed: 23 August 2010