The research will be undertaken in collaboration with key stakeholders including consumers, clinicians, advocacy organisations, health insurers, government and industry. The centre will include the three following streams:
Stream 1: Improving primary care management of osteoarthritis (PARTNER)
The overall aim of PARTNER is to evaluate whether a flexible model of primary care targeted at both general practitioners and patients and designed to facilitate the uptake of key osteoarthritis clinical guideline recommendations leads to better outcomes for overweight and obese patients with knee osteoarthritis and reduces health care costs. The research includes a pragmatic multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial with embedded program evaluation and cost effectiveness analysis.
Stream 2 – Empowering and supporting consumers
Consumer-focused strategies are an essential component of chronic disease management to improve patient health outcomes. This research stream aims to identify the key elements required to successfully engage consumers in self-management. It includes development and evaluation of novel web based patient decision support systems for people with osteoarthritis and low back pain to improve their knowledge and decision-making; development of evaluation tools to explore consumer beliefs and attitudes about their treatment and how this may impact on outcomes; identification of key consumer messages; and development and evaluation of a web-based resource for people with low back pain in collaboration with Arthritis Australia.
Stream 3 – Improving uptake and adherence to exercise and physical activity
Exercise and physical activity is the cornerstone of treatment for osteoarthritis and low back pain, yet exercise is under-utilised. This stream of research aims to investigate barriers and facilitators to exercise in people with these conditions and to explore new models of care for delivering exercise advice and behavior change support. In particular a clinical trial will evaluate the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of telephone-delivered exercise advice and behaviour change support by physiotherapists 'TELECARE' in people with knee OA.