Telehealth – the future treatment for Chronic knee pain
17 November 2015
People with chronic knee pain will access free advice through an Australian-First clinical trial involving physiotherapists, the University of Melbourne, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria, Medibank and HealthChange Australia.
APA President, Marcus Dripps today announced that the Telecare Study is aimed at testing over-the-phone physiotherapy treatment and exercise advice to sufferers of chronic knee pain from across Australia.
“We need to keep looking into new treatments to help people with knee osteoarthritis through early-intervention, so that expensive and invasive surgery and hospitalisation can be avoided,” he said.
“Knee osteoarthritis is common and prevalent in Australia – particularly with an ageing population and higher obesity rates.
“Knee osteoarthritis leads to permanent disability for people if it is left untreated.”
Mr Dripps said that knee osteoarthritis is one of the highest causes of disability in Australia.
“The program’s success would mean that more Australians in pain would have easier access to physiotherapy – regardless of where they live and whether or not they can get to and from traditional services,” he said.
“This program will also provide much needed research to inform future physical therapy programs.”
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provided more than $430,000 in funding for the clinical trial through a Partnership Grant announced this week.
Associate Professor, Rana Hinman, from the University of Melbourne, said the three-year trial involves treating and monitoring 175 patients’ knee pain over 12 months to determine the effectiveness of the telephone-based intervention.
“Australia is a large country and knee osteoarthritis is a national problem that will not go away, and will only worsen into the future,” Dr Hinman said.
“Access to evidence-based quality self-management and exercise advice is difficult so we need to be embracing technology and innovate our services to be able to provide a wide-spread service across rural and regional areas.”
To find out more information, or to find a suitable physiotherapist, visit www.physiotherapy.asn.au
About the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)
The APA is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. It is a national organisation with state and territory branches and specialty subgroups. The APA represents more than 19,000 members who conduct more than 23 million consultations each year. To find a physiotherapist in your area, visit www.physiotherapy.asn.au/
For further information, or to speak with an expert physiotherapist, please contact:
Ruth Heenan, Australian Physiotherapy Association
T 03 9092 0813, 0416 565 332 E Ruth.Heenan@physiotherapy.asn.au