Research Article|Articles in Press

Osteoarthritis consumers as co-researchers: identifying consumer insights to improve osteoarthritis management by co-designing translational research solutions

Published:March 14, 2023DOI:



      Co-design is a consumer-driven approach that facilitates consumer participation in creating meaningful solutions to complex problems. Poor uptake of core management strategies for osteoarthritis suggests there is a missing link in translation between research and practice. We partnered with osteoarthritis consumers as ‘co-researchers’ to identify translational research solutions to improve uptake of core management strategies that are grounded in lived experiences.


      To transparently describe a theory-driven, generative co-design approach using an integrated conceptual framework to collaborate with consumers at the equal partnership level.


      We used co-design workshops with a non-hierarchical participatory framework. Three workshops with six co-researchers [2 female, mean age 68.7 (9.8) years, 3–30 years symptom duration] were conducted using activities to encourage creative thinking, promote deep reflection on personal/societal beliefs and minimise sensitivities around sharing personal beliefs (e.g., establishing a safe space, prompting questions, perspective-taking, counter-stereotypical exemplars).


      All six co-researchers actively participated in the workshops. Achievement of an equal collaborative partnership was evidenced by co-researchers challenging a project proposed by the research team and making alternative recommendations that have been implemented in prospective decision-making – representing a complete change in research focus driven by consumer input. A key suggested solution was to develop a scalable knowledge translation intervention that targets misconceptions about osteoarthritis and its management at the societal-level.


      Through an innovative co-design approach in partnership with co-researchers, we identified meaningful areas on which to focus translational research for osteoarthritis. Discordance between existing research priorities and novel solutions proposed by co-researchers highlights the value of co-design.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE)
        Osteoarthritis: Care and Management.
        • Hinman R.
        • Nicolson P.
        • Dobson F.
        • Bennell K.
        Use of nondrug, nonoperative interventions by community-dwelling people with hip and knee osteoarthritis.
        Arthritis Care Res. 2015; 67: 305-309
        • Wallis J.A.
        • Taylor N.F.
        • Bunzli S.
        • Shields N.
        Experience of living with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review of qualitative studies.
        BMJ Open. 2019; 9
        • Quicke J.G.
        • Foster N.E.
        • Ogollah R.O.
        • Croft P.R.
        • Holden M.A.
        Relationship between attitudes and beliefs and physical activity in older adults with knee pain: secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial.
        Arthritis Care Res. 2017; 69: 1192-1200
        • Nüesch E.
        • Dieppe P.
        • Reichenbach S.
        • Williams S.
        • Iff S.
        • Juni P.
        All cause and disease specific mortality in people with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip: population based cohort study.
        BMJ. 2011; 342: d1165
        • Ackerman I.N.
        • Bohensky M.A.
        • Zomer E.
        • Tacey M.
        • Gorelik A.
        • Brand C.A.
        • et al.
        The projected burden of primary total knee and hip replacement for osteoarthritis in Australia to the year 2030.
        BMC Muscoskelet Disord. 2019; 20: 1-10
        • Slattery P.
        • Saeri A.K.
        • Bragge P.
        Research co-design in health: a rapid overview of reviews.
        Health Res Policy Syst. 2020; 18: 1-13
        • Patterson B.
        • Donaldson A.
        • Crossley K.
        • Mosler A.
        • Haberfield M.
        • Livingstone N.
        • et al.
        Preventing traumatic knee injuries in women and girls playing Australian football: co-design of the prep-to-play program to enhance implementation.
        Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2022; 30: S404
        • Eyles H.
        • Jull A.
        • Dobson R.
        • Firestone R.
        • Whittaker R.
        • Te Morenga L.
        • et al.
        Co-design of mHealth delivered interventions: a systematic review to assess key methods and processes.
        Curr Nutr Rep. 2016; 5: 160-167
        • Davis A.
        • Wallace N.
        • Gwilt I.
        • Tuckey M.
        Valuing processes and outcomes: a framework for planning co-design in complex systems of health design.
        The Evolving Scholar | ARCH22. 2022; (preprint)
        • Staniszewska S.
        • Brett J.
        • Simera I.
        • Seers K.
        • Mockford C.
        • Goodlad S.
        • et al.
        GRIPP2 reporting checklists: tools to improve reporting of patient and public involvement in research.
        BMJ. 2017; 358
        • Carlsen B.
        • Glenton C.
        What about N? A methodological study of sample-size reporting in focus group studies.
        BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011; 11: 1-10
        • Stanton T.R.
        • Karran E.L.
        • Butler D.S.
        • Hull M.J.
        • Schwetlik S.N.
        • Braithwaite F.A.
        • et al.
        A pain science education and walking program to increase physical activity in people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: a feasibility study.
        Pain Rep. 2020; 5e830
        • Roos E.M.
        • Roos H.P.
        • Lohmander L.S.
        • Ekdahl C.
        • Beynnon B.D.
        Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS)—development of a self-administered outcome measure.
        J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1998; 28: 88-96
        • Arnstein S.
        A ladder of citizen participation.
        J Am Inst Plan. 1969; 35: 216-224
        • IAP2 International Federation
        Spectrum of Participation.
        • Goff A.J.
        • Barton C.J.
        • Merolli M.
        • Zhang Quah A.S.
        • Ki-Cheong Hoe C.
        • De Oliveira Silva D.
        Comprehensiveness, accuracy, quality, credibility and readability of online information about knee osteoarthritis.
        Health Inf Manag J. 2022; 18333583221090579
        • Suman A.
        • Armijo-Olivo S.
        • Deshpande S.
        • Marietta-Vasquez J.
        • Dennett L.
        • Miciak M.
        • et al.
        A systematic review of the effectiveness of mass media campaigns for the management of low back pain.
        Disabil Rehabil. 2021; 43: 3523-3551