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    Better Hip research trial published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal

    Medibank’s Better Hip research trial was recently published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal.

    The article – titled “Effectiveness of a telehealth-delivered clinician-supported exercise and weight loss program for hip osteoarthritis – protocol for the Better Hip randomised controlled trial” – outlined the program which explores how exercise and dietary support can reduce pain and improve function for people living with hip osteoarthritis.

    The Better Hip research trial is seeking to find out how an online exercise and weight loss program with dedicated support from physiotherapists and dietitians compares to having access to information and advice only.

    The trial is being undertaken exclusively with Medibank customers, with just over 150 participants so far.

    Medibank Chief Customer Officer, Milosh Milisavljevic, said the impact on of osteoarthritis can severely impact people’s quality of life.

    “Around 1 in 11 adults are currently living with osteoarthritis, which can be extremely debilitating and limiting for everyday activities. With numbers set to significantly increase due to our ageing population and rising obesity rates, we are proud to support research that helps to address this,” Mr Milisavljevic said.

    “An important feature of the trial is the virtual platform, which means customers living in regional and rural areas, where health services are limited, can access the program, as it’s delivered completely online.

    The Better Hip trial will follow up participants at 6 and 12 months after their completion of the program. The evaluation will focus on clinical outcomes, participant feedback and engagement. An additional evaluation will take place after 24 months, with a focus on longer term outcomes such as the rate of hip replacements.

    Eligible Medibank customers who are interested in joining the trial are encouraged to visit: https://www.medibank.com.au/health-support/health-services/better-hip/.

    The trial is expected to conclude in June 2025.

    More information

    About Better Hip:

    Better Hip is a six-month pilot program for eligible customers with chronic hip pain caused by osteoarthritis.

    It will investigate the impact of combining personalised plans for exercise, pain management and in some cases weight loss.

    Better Hip has been developed and is being delivered and evaluated in partnership with experts from the University of Melbourne.

    The research trial comprises a control and a test group. Those in the control group are provided with access to a website with information about hip osteoarthritis and how to manage the condition. The test group undertakes physiotherapy consultations and, for those eligible, additional consultations with a dietitian. Participants in this group are provided with a Fitbit, exercise equipment and booklets to help them measure and track their progress.


    • Medibank customers with resident hospital cover that includes total hip replacement.
    • Age: ≥45 years
    • Has hip osteoarthritis (OA), defined by the fulfilment of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence clinical criteria for OA, and other clinical criteria.
    • Access to computer/tablet/laptop with internet connection and a smartphone.

    About BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders:

    BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of the prevention, diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders, as well as related molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and epidemiology.

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