Sou +: reducing health inequities in rural populations with knee osteoarthritis

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Abstract

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent and disabling condition, specially in rural areas, due to the economic, social and environmental determinants that impact health and disability in these regions. Furthermore, in terms of accessibility to services, rural areas are at a disadvantage in comparison with urban areas, where accessing services beyond the basics is within reach. Due to barriers associated with isolation, residents in rural areas face greater difficulties in having an appointment with healthcare professionals and even the recognition of the need to seek this care, due to the long-standing consequences of the diagnosis. Exercise and education programs represent core interventions for the management of knee OA and digital technologies have been used to disseminate these programs, with favorable outcomes. Nevertheless, individuals that live in rural areas may have difficulty in accessing these kinds of programs, which can increase segregation and inequity in healthcare. Sou+ aims to create a solution that engages patients, social entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, health institutions and the community in the mission of successful implementation of an innovative program for patients with knee osteoarthritis in rural areas.

Keywords

  • Commnunity
  • E-Health
  • Exercise and edcuational programs
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Rural

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