The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University has received $1.3 million of Federal Government funding to undertake a trial to support people with musculoskeletal disability to re-engage with work or education and to improve their community participation.
In partnership with the Australian Institute of Musculoskeletal Science, the Giving it a Go trial aims to improve the understanding of the health condition of people with musculoskeletal disability, encourage social participation, and increase their access to supports.
The trial wants to improve the quality of life for participants and educate them further on how to manage their musculoskeletal condition and the associated pain.
Victoria University Vice-Chancellor, Peter Dawkins, says this trial could have a huge effect on more than 3.5 million adult Australians living with a musculoskeletal condition, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain or an injury.
“We believe that with the right supports, people can improve their management of chronic health conditions and increase their opportunities to engage in the activities they enjoy including education and work,” says Mr Dawkins.
“This exciting project allows us to take a rigorous approach to testing the barriers and enablers to helping people get the support they need.”
Some people with musculoskeletal conditions can have severe pain, which makes them more likely to experience social isolation, and have difficulty participating in education, work and hobbies.
The trial will involve people with musculoskeletal disability who are receiving the Disability Support Pension.
Mitchell Institute wants to develop the trial with people living with musculoskeletal disability and identify barriers to management of the chronic condition.
The Australian Institute of Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS) has been advocating for more research into the condition.
At the Musculoskeletal Research Forum last year, AIMSS brought together researchers to discuss awareness and research funding for the condition, which was collated into a white paper expressing the burden musculoskeletal disease has on Australia.
AIMSS says musculoskeletal conditions affect 30 percent of the population with four of five people with a musculoskeletal disease having at least one other chronic condition, like cardiovascular disease.
Musculoskeletal disease contributed to one in twenty deaths, and also contributes to 41 percent of early retirements.
AIMMS says most musculoskeletal conditions originate from childhood and only manifest in their adult life.
To find out more about the Give it a Go trial, head to the Mitchell Institute website for more information or to register for the trial.