iHOAP recruitment website

Study Info
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Internet-based Hip OsteoArthritis Pain Exacerbation (iHOAP) Study

What is the purpose of the study?

While pain from hip osteoarthritis has long been considered a chronic condition, the symptoms experienced by patients with hip osteoarthritis are neither constant nor stable. If the risk factors for these pain exacerbations could be identified and avoided, many such episodes could be prevented.
This study is designed to identify risk factors (physical activity, foot-wear, hip injury, medication use, climatic factors, psychological factors, fatigue, sleep quality and sexual activity) of hip pain exacerbations and assess their magnitude of effect in those with hip osteoarthritis. 

Who can participate?

To participate in the study, you must:

  • are aged over 40 years,
  • have at least one hip with pain on most days
  • have fluctuations in level of hip pain
  • have hip arthritis diagnosed on an x-ray and have access to that x-ray
  • have an active email account and access to the internet.

You cannot participate in the study if you:

  • have had a total hip joint replacement on your most painful hip or
  • have plans to have a total hip replacement or any other hip surgery in the next 6 months,
  • have a history of secondary osteoarthritis (inflammatory, osteonecrosis, Paget’s disease, etc).

What will you have to do?

If you decide to take part in this research study, you will need to provide images of your most recent hip X-rays or your permission to access these at the Radiology facility where they were taken.

If you are found to be eligible, you will be then provided access to the study website and asked to complete a total of 10 questionnaires online over the course of 90 days (approximately 3 months) related to your hip pain. These will be filled out online at a secure, password-protected website, which you can do from any computer with internet access, such as your home computer or iPad.

You will need to complete questionnaires at baseline (initial questionnaires) and every 10 days for 3 months following baseline. You will receive a series of emails reminding you when to complete the questionnaires or asking you whether you experienced a pain Flare. The initial questionnaire will take around 60 to 90 minutes to complete and the subsequent scheduled questionnaires will take around 15 to 20 minutes. For every scheduled online visit you will be given 48 hours to complete all questionnaires. Within this time you can go online as many times and have as many breaks as you need to answer all questions.  Each visit is considered as complete when all of the Questionnaires on the list are marked as DONE.

If you experience any substantial flare-ups in your hip symptoms at any time over the 90-day period, you are also asked to log on and provide some information about your pain flare-up. These surveys will take around 15 minutes to complete.

What costs are being covered by the study?

Each participant will be compensated up to a possible total of $50, based on the total number of time points completed. The compensation is in recognition of the time committed to completing the questionnaires. The compensation will be paid to you in one sum after your participation in the study has been completed. 

Will my details be kept confidential?

No findings that could identify you will be published. All data and results will be handled in a strictly confidential manner. This project is subject to the requirements of the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Sydney (HREC Protocol No. 2014/801) and the University of Melbourne (HREC No. 1443509).

What to do next?

If you would like to participate in this project, or to find out more details, please click NEXT at the bottom of the page to find out whether you are eligible and to register your interest.


About the researchers:

Professor Kim Bennell is an experienced physiotherapist and Director of the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine in the Department of Physiotherapy at The University of Melbourne.

Professor David Hunter is a Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the Department of Medicine, Northern Clinical School, The University of Sydney.

Mr Ben Metcalf is a research scientist, experienced in the co-ordination of physiotherapy trials for hip and knee osteoarthritis in the Department of Physiotherapy at The University of Melbourne.

Professor Yuqing Zhang is an Epidemiologist at Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit at School of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology at School of Public Health of Boston.

Dr Joanna Makovey is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Medicine, Northern Clinical School at the University of Sydney.

Professor Paul Hodges 
is an experienced physiotherapist and Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.