Chronic musculoskeletal conditions (specifically low back pain, hip and knee osteoarthritis) are highly prevalent in mid-life and older adults and adversely affect mobility.
Chronic musculoskeletal conditions account for over 50% of disability in adults over 65.
Declines in physical activity associated with chronic musculoskeletal conditions are directly linked to an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disease. Patients often experience a downward spiral of pain, reduced physical activity, increased co-morbidities adn health concerns that negatively impact quality-of-life and sense of well-being. The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) identifies musculoskeletal conditions in older adults as priority conditions, calling for healthcare organizations to improve management strategies.
A number of community programs have been developed that are successful in reducing health risk and improving mobility for individuals with chronic pain conditions, however, care coordination between health providers and community programs is poor.
Providers only refer between 20-35% of individuals at greatest need to community programs and even fewer access the programs.
This suggests that despite numerous resources, we have not established the optimal support mechanisms for sustained physical activity in this population. The focus of the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. project is to work with patient and community stakeholders interested in improving mechanisms for sustaining physical activity in mid-life and older adults with pain and limited mobility.