New research to determine best practice for knee osteoarthritis

Our researchers at the Kolling Institute are set to influence the delivery of osteoarthritis care across Australia following a significant funding announcement.

More than $1.4 million has been awarded to internationally recognised rheumatologist and researcher Professor David Hunter as part of the NHMRC Partnership Project Grants Scheme.

The scheme is designed to help researchers work directly with partners to deliver programs that respond to community needs, improve equity and broaden access to care.

Professor Hunter’s project is one of seven being funded this year at a total cost of $9 million.

It will compare the effectiveness of a telehealth approach with optimal face-to-face treatment for knee osteoarthritis.

Professor Hunter said we are enormously appreciative of both the partners who will be involved in this project, as well as the NHMRC for funding our work.

“It will provide important information for policymakers to determine which groups of people will benefit most from the particular types of therapy,” he said.

“It will also help confirm which model of care is the most effective and cost-effective, and which type of therapy could be efficiently delivered on a large scale.

“It’s expected the methods and resources we develop during the trial will be shared widely, and adopted on a national scale.”

With an increasing number of Australians experiencing osteoarthritis, Professor Hunter said it’s important we are able to inform policy makers and service providers on the best-practice management of this condition.

“Despite the significant burden of the disease, the current delivery of osteoarthritis care is often not consistent or informed by evidence-based guidelines.

“It is often fragmented, inappropriate and of little value.

“Our team is consistently working to lift standards of care and long term health outcomes, so we are thrilled this new funding will help us progress our research in this area.”

The total investment in the seven NHMRC partnership projects will reach more than $24 million after funding from the partners.