WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY?
Hand osteoarthritis is a common condition, however we do not know why people have different experiences of hand pain. We want to:
i) Improve our understanding of what happens to hand pain over time in people with hand osteoarthritis
ii) Find out whether there are factors that can predict why in some people the pain appears to improve, whilst in others it may remain stable or worsen
iii) Study hand pain flare: why do some people experience flares but not others? How does a flare impact on a person’s life and are there factors that can help us to predict flares (or prevent them occurring)?
We believe there may be a link with sex hormones (such as estrogens and testosterone) because the condition is more common in women, particularly around the time of the menopause (when periods stop). We know that sex hormones can influence how both men and women sense pain.
Some people tell us that weather conditions affect their joints. In HOPE-c, we will try to understand any links between weather conditions and daily hand pain severity or flares.
Participants in HOPE-c will be asked to score their hand pain severity every day for six months (by mobile phone or on a paper diary) and complete at least five surveys during this time. Participation can be entirely remote, using text message, email and surveys with telephone support available. If you live near our main study sites (Oxford and London) and express an interest in attending study visits, we may offer face-to-face visits when it is safe and feasible to do so (depending on local COVID-19 restrictions).