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Funded Research

MOVE supports research in musculoskeletal health in key priority areas.

Our research activity includes undertaking strategic research projects, partnering with organisations such as universities to undertake research, and supporting the careers of musculoskeletal health researchers through scholarships. In response to the changing research landscape in Australia, our emphasis on partnership-based research activity is increasing.

 By working in partnership with leading research institutions and industry partners, we provide evidence to transform musculoskeletal healthcare and improve the lives of people living with, or at risk of, musculoskeletal conditions and their carers.

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Current Research Programs

MOVE muscle, bone & joint health facilitates research largely through a partnership approach. We currently have the following active projects:

PhD Scholarship

“What about young people?” 

We're excited to announce our newest PhD Scholarship recipient Miss Danielle Berkovic. Miss Berkovic will be exploring the personal and financial burden of young people with arthritis, under the supervision of Associate Professor Ilana Ackerman at Monash University.

Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are the two most common forms of arthritis in Australia. Arthritis is a disease that was thought to solely affect older people, but it is increasingly recognised that the condition also affects young people. Rising rates of obesity and sports injury are leading to growth in the number of young people with OA, and RA is most commonly seen in young women of childbearing age.

Young people face unique challenges in living with arthritis. Young people report that unpredictable arthritis flares, fatigue, and reduced energy and strength pose challenges in the workplace and young women in particular have flagged the issues they face with family planning.Young adulthood is an important transitional life phase, yet little research has examined the influence of arthritis on issues specific to young people, especially work experiences and career progression.

The key aim of this PhD project is to explore the experiences of young people aged 18-50 who are living with and managing arthritis. This will be achieved by interviewing 40 young people with arthritis to gain an in-depth perspective about the work-related and lifestyle-related impacts of arthritis. An online cost diary will also be developed to capture the out-of-pocket healthcare costs for young people living with arthritis. This is novel to the arthritis field; it is the first attempt to understand the personal financial burden of arthritis among young people. Importantly, this PhD project will develop recommendations around the personal, financial, and work-related impacts of arthritis for clinicians treating young people, to improve provision of patient-centred care.

Centre of Research Excellence in Translation of Research into Improved Outcomes in Musculoskeletal Pain and Health (CRE TRIUMPH)

Chief Investigator: Kim Bennell

Institutions: The University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Monash University, Keele University UK, University College London, and with other partners: Arthritis Australia, Medibank Private, Prima Health Solutions, Precedence Healthcare, The George Institute, MOVE and Curtin University

Project Timeline: 2015 - 2019

The CRE aims to establish a national multidisciplinary research centre focused on implementation research investigating effective translation of evidence to change clinician and patient behaviours in order to improve outcomes for people with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Streams of work will be dedicated to:

i) improving the primary care management of osteoarthritis

ii) empowering and supporting consumers

iii) improving uptake and adherence to physical activity. 

Development of the Australian Lupus Registry

Chief Investigator: Professor Eric Morand

Institutions: Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Southern Clinical School, Monash University

Project Timeline: 2012 - 2017

There is currently no specific, effective treatment for lupus in Australia supported by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Attempts to develop targeted therapies have not been successful. Although many genes associated with lupus have been identified, the biomarkers (or biological markers) that relate to specific aspects of the disease – eg organ involvement, severity of the disease, response to treatment – have been more difficult to pin down.

Without a specific treatment, many people with lupus live with uncontrolled disease activity and will often experience harmful side effects caused by the use of a broad range of medications designed to suppress the immune system.

Complicating research into lupus is the lack of international agreement on clinical activity or response to treatment. Unlike other inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, there is no agreed system in use to define treatment goals, such as remission. This means that there is no agreed or proven treatment target for use in clinical trials or clinical practice.

The Australian Lupus Registry is an attempt to gather information and gain some clarity about this complex disease. It will provide data for research and will progress knowledge and solutions to the significant problems encountered by people with lupus.

Completed Projects

You can also access reports, plain language summaries and articles relating to our completed projects covering topics such as:

  • Pregnancy and RA

  • Persistent Pain and Employment

  • Warm Water Exercise for People with Musculoskeletal Conditions

  • Young People's Experiences of Living with Persistent Pain


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