Improving care for arthritis through allied health-led translational research

Ilana Ackerman1

Senior Musculoskeletal Researcher, Monash University, VIC 

Allied health researchers have a unique opportunity to (a) identify research questions arising from clinical practice and leadership positions and (b) address these in order to effect real change in delivery of care and achieve better patient outcomes.

This presentation covers two programs of translational research that have led to improvements in the way we care for patients with arthritis. The first program of research involved a longitudinal study of patients waiting for joint replacement surgery in the public hospital system. The findings from this study were the stimulus for the development of the Osteoarthritis Hip and Knee Service, which has now been implemented in Victorian public hospitals as part of routine care.

The second program of research aimed to better understand the information needs of women with rheumatoid arthritis around pregnancy, breastfeeding and post-natal care. This work has led to the development of new resources for health professionals caring for women with rheumatoid arthritis, including cross-discipline consensus statements regarding key educational messages and clinical practices.