Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Researchers in Oxford are looking to recruit women who have painful osteoarthritis in joints of their hands, after resuming a study that was paused due to the COVID crisis.

A women with hand osteoarthritis rubs her hands together

Hand osteoarthritis affects more than two million people in the UK. There are few evidence-based interventions to treat the condition, other than pain relief and exercise, which are often inadequate. The NIHR-funded HOPE-e study is recruiting post-menopausal women to see whether painful osteoarthritis in joints of their hands can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

The study is currently recruiting women aged 40 to 65 years old who are between one and 10 years after their menopause. Participants will take either a type of HRT tablet or a placebo (inactive tablet) for 24 weeks.

Like many research studies during the Coronavirus pandemic, the HOPE-e study paused recruitment on 16 March 2020, but were delighted to be able to restart the study from the end of August at various sites including the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Oxford.

The study team has made several modifications to the study to allow it to run in the new COVID-secure era. Four of the five study visits are now typically carried out remotely over the telephone with only the first screening visit requiring a face-to-face visit to the clinic.

Professor Fiona Watt, HOPE-e Chief Investigator, based at University of Oxford's Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, says "With all bar one of the study visits now possible remotely, COVID has taught us how much we can do by phone and online. 

"Just like the NHS, research needs to be flexible and change to new models where we can, whilst making sure everyone stays safe. Ultimately, we hope this 'new look' may also prove popular with women who work, have busy lives or live further away who have painful hand osteoarthritis and want to take part in the study."

The study is recruiting participants until the end of December 2020.

More information on taking part can be found on the HOPE-e website.

Similar stories

£1.2M to improve diagnosis of emergency spinal condition

The National Institute for Health and Care Research has awarded an Advanced Fellowship to Dr David Metcalfe to study the diagnosis of the spinal condition, cauda equina syndrome.

Professor Chris Lavy appointed to WHO technical advisory group

Congratulations to Professor Chris Lavy, who has been appointed to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) technical advisory group for integrated clinical care for a period of two years.

Oxford receives NIHR funding to test anti-TNF on post operative delirium

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been awarded a grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to investigate whether anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy can reduce or prevent post operative delirium/cognitive deficit.

Gene variant links trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome

A new NDORMS study, published in The Lancet Rheumatology, has found a genetic variant that increases the risk of both carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger, and opens the door for new therapies that involve blocking the IGF-1 pathway.

Kennedy programmes support early career researchers

Since 2013 the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology has been running a Career Development Programme, a scheme to help early career researchers launch their own independent laboratories, and more recently the Innovator Investigator Programme to bring new technologies to core research themes.

OCTRU collaboration boosts understanding of COVID vaccine response

Working with researchers across multiple universities, the Oxford Clinical Trials Unit (OCTRU) played a key role in delivering results of the national VROOM trial (Vaccine Response On Off Methotrexate).