IMPlementation of osteoArthritis Clinical guidelines Together

Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints, affecting 1 in 8 Irish people as they get older. Due to the growth of our ageing population amongst other reasons, this figure is expected to double within one generation. Most people with the disease in their hips or knees are likely to experience some level of pain as well as difficulty getting around and carrying out work or activities of daily living. Replacing the joint is a common treatment strategy and is normally a final resort. Despite this, waiting lists for orthopaedic surgery in Ireland are at their highest ever and patients are not given many management options in the meantime. Today, exercise is recommended worldwide as a treatment for painful joints in middle-aged and older people. However, recommending is one thing. Actually putting this recommendation into practice has proved difficult. Therefore, this project aims to explore how best to make sure that exercise and education programmes for patients with hip and knee problems are an available option for all patients, regardless of age, severity of disease, location and budget. To achieve this aim, a group of expert researchers, patients, health professionals and policy makers will work together to decide on the best strategy to not only get this programme off the ground, but make sure it continues to be available once the research is over. The IMPACT project will also aim to see how this programme will change levels of pain, symptoms and quality of life and get people back to work for longer with less need for medication. This research has the potential to change the landscape and health service priorities for the management of osteoarthritis, by giving the power back to the patients and teaching them how to self-manage their pain through exercise and physical activity.

Award Date
15 May 2019
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Clodagh Toomey
Host Institution
University of Limerick
Emerging Investigator Awards