The researchers here at the Institute of Bone and Joint Research (IBJR) are pleased to bring you summaries of the latest research in the musculoskeletal research arena. We will summarise recently published research from around the world and within the IBJR. We’re starting the series off with an in-house research study about an online OA management resource from Australia.

Today we will be talking about an original research paper titled “The Web-based Osteoarthritis Resource My Joint Pain Improves Quality of Care: A Quasi Experimental Study” which was published earlier this year in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading cause of chronic pain and is estimated to affect 1 in 8 adults. Due to the aging population and the increasing rates of obesity in developed countries, it is expected that the incidence of OA will double by the year 2020! Current clinical practice for OA management is often centred on pain relief and eventually surgery despite numerous evidence based guidelines advocating conservative treatment options. The lack of efficiency in practice highlights the need for patients to receive evidence based information about OA outside the clinical encounter. While this is already regularly done in self-management programs to allow patients to play an active role in improving their condition, the use of online platform to distribute the information will have a much wider reach. Hence, the My Joint Pain website was developed.

The research was carried out over 12 months with participants from all over Australia in what is called a quasi-experimental study. This means that instead of being randomised to a group of the study, participants could choose for themselves. Participants filled out an online survey to assess eligibility and if eligible, the questionnaires used in this study. Once the My Joint Pain website was available, participants were informed and were only contacted again after 12 months to fill out the same questionnaires and to provide details of their website usage (to divide them into users and non-users).

The two questionnaires used for this study were the Health Evaluation Impact Questionnaire (heiQ) and the Osteoarthritis Quality Indicator (OAQI).

The heiQ was designed to evaluate the effects of self-management programs in 8 different categories that include health directed activity, emotional distress and health service navigation. This study found that over 12 months, users of the website had greatly improved in most categories where non-users didn’t change. Most interestingly, the only change in the non-users was emotional distress. It appears that by using the website, participants were able to protect their emotional wellbeing by preventing it from deteriorating as is usually seen in people with worsening OA and in our non-users.

The OAQI assessed the appropriateness of care received by patients and evaluates 17 different aspects including disease development, weight reduction, and surgery. Comparing user and non- users showed significant differences in self-management and weight reduction. Many of the significant changes seen (even just within the group) were centred on the more conservative options which suggested that the website was effective in dispersing information about conservative options

To read the full paper and more about the results use this link:

My Joint Pain is free and available at this link

You can also support the research carried out the Institute of Bone and Joint Research here:
All donations above $2 are tax deductible.

Umapathy H, Bennell K, Dickson C, Dobson F, Fransen M, Jones G, Hunter DJ
The Web-Based Osteoarthritis Management Resource My Joint Pain Improves Quality of Care: A Quasi-Experimental Study
J Med Internet Res 2015;17(7):e167
DOI: 10.2196/jmir.4376
PMID: 26154022
PMCID: 4526979


We have a special message all the way from Scandinavia from Professor Ewa Roos!

Here from the IBJR we wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season!

At this time of the year, as you all well know, it is time for Santa to fill up his sack with presents for everyone, including those middle‐aged and elderly suffering from pain due to knee and hip osteoarthritis. And wow, there seem to be more and more of them every year! And they complain. They complain they can no longer dance around the Christmas tree. Neither can they sit for as long as the Christmas dinner lasts, without feeling stiffness. Santa thought about his own painful knees for a while, sighed, and then contemplated what treatments to put in his sack.....

Click Here to download the rest of the message



Here is Professor Hunter's final post about how he went while stepping up in September.

The month of Stepping UP in September for osteoarthritis research is now over. For all those wondering how I fared I exceeded the target of 300,000 steps and took 378, 450 steps or 12,615 steps per day (about 10km). I lost a couple of kilos along the way and will try to keep on stepping.

For all those that have supported me-your encouragement is greatly appreciated. Thank-you.

For those who would like to, it is not too late. Go to the fundraising link on donate planet and commit some funds (all donations over $2 are tax deductible (Au)).

Thanks for your support and keep on STEPPING.



Professor Hunter's Week 3 Update


Week 3 is well underway and we are just about to enter the last week of Stepping UP for September.
So far the step count is not diminishing and in fact my average is picking up slightly to about ~13,000 steps per day.
For those considering getting more active I will leave you with a bit of inspiration from T.S Eliot
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. “

Keep on walking!

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Week 2 update from Professor Hunter and he's still going strong!

2 weeks into the Stepping UP for September and I am starting to reap the benefits of increased activity- a bit more focused than normal and sleeping better at night (with the exception of the late night calls last week from the hospital).
A couple of lazy days there last week were just over the 10,000 steps a day threshold but I am averaging about 12,000-thus more than meeting the benchmark I set.
For those of you questioning my judgment and my capacity to maintain this look forward to Thursday this coming week as the day I might buckle. The day starts at about 5am and then is fully loaded with different appointments and as it is our oldest son’s last day at school, social functions into the wee small hours of Friday morning.
For all of you out there increasing your physical activity-keep it UP.

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A week 1 update from Professor Hunter about Steptember!

One week in and still going strong-was a little harder on the weekend than what I envisaged but still cracking the 10,000 steps a day barrier.
Couple of thoughts for the day:
Conditions are never just right. People who put off doing things until all factors are favourable, achieve nothing.
Force yourself outside the door, once your out, that’s the hardest bit of the workout over and done with.

week 1.png


Today we have another guest blogger who is definitely a familiar face around the IBJR: Professor David Hunter, our Chairman. You will be hearing more from David in the coming month on All Over the Joint while he is taking a step for he is passionate about : Bone and Joint Health.
For years I have been telling my patients they need to change their behaviour to help their joints. One major piece of advice I frequently give is to increase their physical activity. Needless to say sometimes their behaviour changes and sometimes it doesn’t. Not infrequently my patients will come back to me and say “I found it hard to increase my physical activity”, “I didn’t have time” or they call my bluff and say “how much activity do YOU do”?

Well as we step into September it is time for me to “put up or shut up”. In an effort to raise awareness about the role of physical activity in arthritis and to raise funds for research into bone and joint diseases ( I have set myself a goal.

I regularly tell others to walk 10,000 steps a day so I commit to walk at least 300,000 steps in September i.e. 10,000 steps a day. Like you I am time poor but the burden of disability from bone and joint diseases is pressing so it is time for me to mobilize.

How can you help?

Go to the fundraising link on donate planet and commit some funds (all donations over $2 are tax deductible (Au)). For those challenging my ability to do this who want to see my progress I will post a weekly update on this blog of my step count from my Jawbone UP (an activity monitor I wear) and tweet about my activity regularly. You can make a commitment per step (yes if you want to pay me a $1 per step that will be gratefully received) or just contribute to the grand total. Either way the intent is to draw awareness to the role of physical activity in arthritis and raise some much needed research funds for bone and joint research.

Join me in Stepping UP in September for Bone and Joint Research. Make a donation at: