The Melbourne Hip OA Trial

Principal Investigator: Professor Kim Bennell (University of Melbourne)

Co-Investigators: Associate Professor J Haxby Abbott(Department of Surgical Sciences), Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, Tim Wrigley, Professor Andrew Forbes (University of Melbourne), Dr Kevin Sims (Cricket Australia), Professor Anthony Harris (Monash University), Dr Yong Hau Pua (Singapore General Hospital)

Hip osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition leading to pain, disability and reduced quality of life. There is currently limited evidence to support the use of conservative, non-pharmacological treatments for hip OA. Exercise and manual therapy have both shown promise and are typically used together by physiotherapists to manage painful hip OA. The aim of this randomised controlled trial is to compare the efficacy of a physiotherapy treatment program with placebo treatment in reducing pain and improving physical function.

The trial was be conducted at the University of Melbourne Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine. The active physiotherapy treatment comprised a semi-structured program of manual therapy and exercise plus education and advice. The placebo treatment consisted of sham ultrasound and the application of non-therapeutic gel.


This research is funded by the Australian Government Health and Medical Research Council. NHMRC App ID: 628556, and conducted during tenure of Dr Abbott’s Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship of the Health Research Council of New Zealand.



Bennell KL, Egerton T, Martin J, Abbott JH, Metcalf B, McManus F, Sims K, Pua Y-H, Wrigley TV, Forbes A, Smith C, Harris A, Buchbinder R. Effect of physical therapy on pain and function in patients with hip osteoarthritis: A randomised clinical trial. JAMA. 2014: 311(19): 1987-1997. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.4591

Bennell KL, Egerton T, Pua Y-H, Abbott JH, Sims K, Buchbinder R. Building the rationale and structure for a complex physical therapy intervention within the context of a clinical trial: A multimodal individualized treatment for patients with hip osteoarthritis. Physical Therapy. 2011;91(10):1525-1541. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20100430

Bennell KL, Egerton T, Pua Y-H, Abbott JH, Sims K, Metcalf B, McManus F, Wrigley TV, Forbes A, Harris A, Buchbinder R. Efficacy of a multimodal physiotherapy treatment program for hip osteoarthritis: a randomised placebo-controlled trial protocol. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2010;11:238. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-11-238


Department of Surgical Sciences Orthopaedic Surgery University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine