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Tooling Up for Early Osteoarthritis: Measuring What Matters

Dr. John Esdaile, a rheumatologist with the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC) in Vancouver, and Dr. Monique Gignac, a public health scientist from the Arthritis Community Research & Evaluation Unit (ACREU), are leading this new arthritis research program.

The main purpose of the Tooling Up for Early Osteoarthritis research team is to learn how health care professionals can do a better job of identifying OA at the earliest possible stages. The overall research objective is to determine the best models, markers and tools for the evaluation of OA, and to determine the most effective models of OA care. Specifically, the research will develop tools to detect OA at an earlier stage than it is currently diagnosed in order to make early intervention possible. ACREU is taking the lead in studies directed to exploring the symptoms and disruptions of early OA and to developing a measure of social participation.

The team of researchers or “investigators” involved with the Tooling Up for Early Osteoarthritis program come from leading arthritis research institutes and organizations from across Canada. The team includes experts in diagnostic blood tests for OA, X-ray scanners, treatment of OA and measurement of important aspects of the disease such as activity limitations, costs and psychological consequences.

A unique and important part of the Tooling Up for Early Osteoarthritis research team is a group of people living with OA. They will work closely with the researchers to help ensure that the goals of the various projects are relevant to people living with the disease. They will help to identify priority research areas and help to get the research results out to the arthritis community, public and health policy-makers as quickly as possible. This is the first time a group of people living with arthritis has participated in the design, execution, and dissemination of Health Canada-funded arthritis research in Canada.

This project is funded through a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Emerging Team (NET) Grant and the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN).

ACREU Investigators: Dr. Monique Gignac (Co-PI), Dr. Paul Fortin, Dr. Gillian Hawker, Dr. Nizar Mahomed, Dr. Elizabeth Badley

Also see Measuring What Matters: Participation in Everyday Life.