An Education and eXercise intervention (EDX-Ireland) for gluteal tendinopathy in an Irish setting: a feasibility randomised controlled trial (LEAP-Ireland trial)

Gluteal tendinopathy is a chronic condition which affects tendons of the gluteal (buttock) muscles of the hip. This condition is also known as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS). It can result in significant pain that can last for months or years. It can disturb sleep and affect everyday activities such as walking. 

A previous large research study in Australia showed that physiotherapist-delivered exercise and education was better than steroid injection or no treatment (wait-and-see) for pain and overall improvement up to 1 year after treatment. Fourteen physiotherapy sessions were given over 8 weeks in the study. However typically in the Irish public healthcare system, 5-6 physiotherapy treatments are given, and it is unlikely that 14 treatments could be put into practice. 

In this feasibility randomised controlled trial, we will compare an exercise and education programme based on the Australian trial at a lower dose of 6 face-to-face sessions over 8 weeks, including a daily home exercise programme (EDX-Ireland), to usual care for this condition. We will recruit 64 people with gluteal tendinopathy who will have an equal chance of receiving either the EDX-Ireland intervention (32 people) or usual care (32 people). 

The focus of this study is to see if a large-scale trial would be worth doing in the future. We will focus on the feasibility of recruiting study participants, participant adherence to the physiotherapy interventions, how acceptable the interventions are to them and what usual care is received. The study also aims to see if using a smartphone application (app) is better than paper-based information to record home exercise completion.

Award Date
04 December 2020
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Helen French
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
DIFA 2020