Table 1

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria for Selection of Index Consultations

GP used terms wear and tear, arthritis, or osteoarthritis diagnostically.
GP gave no diagnosis, but findings support diagnosis of OA based on criteria recommended by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) OA Guideline Development Group18:
 • Persistent joint pain worse with use
 • Patient aged 45 years and over
 • Morning stiffness lasting no more than 30 minutes
GP diagnosed a regional soft tissue problem or a generalized soft tissue problem such as fibromyalgia.
GP gave no diagnosis, but the researcher felt a soft tissue diagnosis to be more likely than OA.
Inflammatory arthritis (or suspected inflammatory arthritis) was apparent during consultation or present on medical record if the researcher’s clinical suspicion prompted a review of the record.
Malignancy was apparent during consultation or present on the medical record.
GP referred the patient to secondary care because of diagnostic uncertainty.
Patient had only spinal symptoms.
  • GP = general practitioner; OA = osteoarthritis, UK = United Kingdom.