Productive Partnerships

Royal North Shore Hospital and University of Sydney

PARTNER: Optimising primary care management of hip and knee osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterised by joint pain and impaired mobility due to gradual wearing of cartilage. Treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Primary care is important in the management of OA. For sufferers, it is often the first point of contact and therefore can play a role in prevention, early detection and management.

The Medibank Better Health foundation aims to be a catalyst for positive change – investing in, translating and disseminating research insights to promote healthy behaviours, inform policy and improve clinical practice.

This project will develop and evaluate a multifaceted model of primary care management of hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) targeting the general practitioner and patient. For the general practitioner, the model includes education, electronic medical record decision support and feedback to enhance conservative non-pharmacological management and reduce inappropriate surgical referral. This will assist GPs in managing OA from reducing the risks for patient’s right through to treatment in advanced stages. For the patient, this project will assist in encouraging self-management and support targeting exercise and weight loss, if appropriate. The project will be guided by stakeholder involvement and include a randomised controlled trial. The model aims to provide more effective and appropriate OA care, leading to better patient health outcomes and reduced health care costs.

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