man and woman standing in front of a hydrotherapy pool

Eligible patients are identified from the Port Macquarie elective surgical waiting lists and referrals are welcomed from General Practitioners. For further information on OACCP, contact Ashleigh Page on 5524 2159.

Osteoarthritis Chronic Care Program turned my life around

Sep 05, 2023

It is estimated that more than 2.2 million Australians (9.3%) are affected by osteoarthritis (OA).1

This figure is predicted to rise to 11 per cent by the year 2050.

The Osteoarthritis Chronic Care Program (OACCP) is a state-wide initiative of Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) to provide comprehensive care to address the needs of people suffering with hip or knee OA.

John Simpson, while on the waitlist for knee replacement surgery, was enrolled in the Port Macquarie OACCP. He received his initial assessment in March where multiple factors were identified in preparation for his surgery, including poorly controlled non-insulin dependent diabetes (HbA1C 8.5), Body Mass Index (BMI) 38.4, alcohol consumption, regular use of codeine for pain relief and no regular exercise with low exercise tolerance (~50m).

“For the past five months I have been attending the Port Macquarie OACCP,” John said.

“When I started going there, I was overweight and didn’t like myself very much. Five months on, I have lost 16kgs and feel great.” 

Due to John’s multiple health concerns, he has received additional reviews to check on progress and reinforce goals.

To date, John has been a keen and motivated participant of Port Macquarie OACCP, receiving input from the multidisciplinary team including a physiotherapist, dietitian and registered nurse.

Progress includes cessation of codeine for pain relief; dietary and lifestyle advice received for weight loss; cessation of alcohol consumption since April; development of a tailored progressive exercise program; participation in hydrotherapy; education on use of walking stick; discharge planning and education for his upcoming knee replacement surgery.

“From the first time I attended the OACCP, I was made very welcome and the staff are lovely,” John said.

“Every Wednesday I attend the Lake Cathie Physio Hydro pool organised by the OACCP. I find it very rewarding and the program is very helpful.”

The OACCP team routinely collects Oxford Knee Score and a Quality of Life survey (PROMIS-29) at three-monthly intervals and outpatient PREM 6 (Patient Reported Experience Measure) monthly.

For John, comparison has shown some significant improvements in the domains of anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, ability to participate in social roles and pain interference in PROMIS-29 score. In addition, John has also demonstrated improvements with his weight (BMI 34.5), functional tests (TUG 13sec -11sec) and exercise tolerance (30mins daily on ex bike + hydro).

The OACCP team was keen to compare John’s progress at six months via Health Outcomes and Patient Experience (HOPE) and using objective tests, particularly with his HbA1C repeat test.

“The ladies and gentlemen at the OACCP have turned my life around,” John said.

“Thank you so much.” 


1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017-18.

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