Arthritis Rehabilitation through the Management of Exercise and Diet 

Knee arthritis affects 400,000 people in Ireland with 2,206 converting to total knee replacement annually. The Orthopaedic triage initiative has clearly indicated a greater demand for outpatient services rather than orthopaedic surgical intervention. There is currently no effective alternative to seeking a secondary care opinion for O.A knees even though large numbers do not convert to surgery.

The Solution from Healthcare Community
Provision of an additional weight management component to an already functioning exercise programme, ESCAPE-pain in primary care will reduce or delay the need for onward secondary care referral. The ARMED project team, which includes HIHI, applied for and was awarded over €52,000 from the Sláintecare Integration Fund to pilot this initiative. The project lead, Brenda Monaghan (PhD), Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist is already running the ESCAPE-pain part of this project in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, Co Meath. The project team consists of a local multidisciplinary team and will design the additional weight management component together with the HIHI.

Where to next
The aim of project is pilot and evaluate a programme aimed at patients with knee osteoarthritis and knee osteoarthritis with weight management issues that can be easily scaled and replicated systematically. An economic evaluation of project will also be carried out. It is hoped that if this pilot project is successful, that the programme could be replicated in other sites around the country.