Quality indicators for hand osteoarthritis

project manager


phd fellow

About the project

Hand osteoarthritis is one of the most common rheumatic joint diseases. There is no cure, but international guidelines state that information, hand training and the use of simple support splints and aids are effective measures to reduce pain and improve function. Research shows that services for this group of patients are inadequate. One way to improve this is to make information on recommended treatments available through digital solutions, such as smartphone applications and websites, also known as eHealth. This technology can be used to support patients to develop and adhere to useful coping strategies and to collect data for use in research.

Quality indicators are a useful tool to monitor the quality of care and to investigate whether this improves with the introduction of new treatment strategies. Quality indicators have been developed for the management of osteoarthritis, but they are not adapted to the hand osteoarthritis group or the use of eHealth strategies.

The aim of this project is therefore to adapt an existing quality indicator set for patients with hand osteoarthritis and use eHealth strategies, and to investigate the measurement properties of the revised set.

Who can participate?

An international group of experts will agree, through a managed voting process, on a set of quality indicators for hand osteoarthritis. This set will then be tested in a randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of two treatments for patients with hand osteoarthritis.

Recruitment of participants for the expert group has been completed, while recruitment of participants in the randomized controlled trial will start in autumn 2023.

Project arrangement

In the first part of the project, an expert group of user representatives, clinicians and researchers participate in a guided voting process (Delphi process) to develop a proposal for a set of quality indicators for hand osteoarthritis.

In the second part of the study, people with hand osteoarthritis will be randomly assigned to two treatments, where one treatment also includes the use of Happy Hands, a treatment app for hand osteoarthritis. The fulfillment of quality indicators (pass rates) in the two groups will be measured before and after treatment in both groups, and compared to assess whether the quality indicator set captures the quality of care provided via different solutions.


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