Health Dialog Announces New Patient Decision Aids for Common Knee Conditions

Award-Winning Shared Decision Making® Content Provides Patients with Trusted Support

BOSTON--()--Health Dialog today announced the addition of two new Web-based decision aids and corresponding printed booklets to its award winning library of shared decision making content. “Treatment Choices for Torn Meniscus After Age 40” and “Managing Early-Stage Knee Osteoarthritis” have been designed to provide patients with a better understanding of these medical conditions and the available treatment options, surgical and non-surgical, so they can make more informed decisions with their doctors.

“Knee osteoarthritis and meniscal tear are common sources of knee pain and disability,” said Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MS, professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery, Harvard Medical School, and co-director of the Spine Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston. “Patients with these conditions face difficult, and sometimes confusing, choices about treatments. These programs were created to help patients navigate these choices more confidently and make wise decisions that reflect their values and the best medical evidence available." Dr. Katz served as medical editor for the two decision aids, which were created by Health Dialog together with the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), knee problems are the number one reason why patients visit an orthopaedic surgeon. Statistics show that the number of knee-related procedures per year is rapidly rising. With an aging baby boomer population, the demand for primary total knee replacements is projected to soar from a current average of 581,000 procedures per year to 3.48 million procedures per year by 2030. 1,2 Costs for knee-related procedures can be steep. According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in 2008 hospitals charged an average of $45,783 for a patient stay of three to five days for a total knee replacement.3

“These decision aids for common knee conditions further bolster our Shared Decision Making library,” said Peter Goldbach, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Health Dialog. “By combining patient decision aids with support from trained Health Coaches, individuals become confident in managing their conditions and working collaboratively with their doctors.”

The “Treatment Choices for Torn Meniscus After Age 40” decision aid has already been recognized for excellence. The program was granted a Silver Award earlier this summer from the Health & Science Communications Association (HeSCA). HeSCA Awards are given to health communications media that demonstrate outstanding technical quality, production value and technique, educational design, technological innovation, quality, and craftsmanship.

Health Dialog’s library of medical decision aids covers a broad range of topics and is available online through the Health Crossroads® web site and also on DVD and printed booklets. These decision aids are currently available to more than 18 million individuals and are disseminated as part of Health Dialog’s broader Shared Decision Making decision support program, which includes telephonic Health Coaching by specially trained healthcare professionals. The Shared Decision Making approach is effective in improving quality of care received, enhancing patients’ satisfaction with the system, and curbing unnecessary costs.

About Health Dialog:

Health Dialog Services Corporation is a leading provider of healthcare analytics and decision support. The firm is a private, wholly-owned subsidiary of Bupa, a global provider of healthcare services. Health Dialog helps healthcare payors improve healthcare quality while reducing overall costs. Company offerings include health coaching for medical decisions, chronic conditions, and wellness; population analytic solutions; and consulting services. Health Dialog helps individuals participate in their own healthcare decisions, develop more effective relationships with their physicians, and live healthier, happier lives. For more information, visit

1 American Academy of Orthopaedics, 2011.
2 Kurtz S et al. Projections of Primary and Revision Hip and Knee Arthroplasty in the United States from 2005 to 2030. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007; 89:780-785
3 “Key Facts About Knee Replacement Surgery”, AARP Bulletin, March 1, 2011,


Health Dialog
Kiran Ganda, 617-406-5239



Health Dialog
Kiran Ganda, 617-406-5239