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OBJECTIVE: Implementation strategies, such as new models of service delivery, are needed to address evidence practice gaps. This paper describes the process of developing and operationalising a new model of service delivery to implement recommended care for people with knee osteoarthritis (OA) in a primary care setting. METHODS: Three development stages occurred concurrently and iteratively. Each stage considered the healthcare context and was informed by stakeholder input. Stage 1 involved the design of a new model of service delivery (PARTNER). Stage 2 developed a behavioural change intervention targeting general practitioners (GPs) using the behavioural change wheel framework. In stage 3, the 'Care Support Team' component of the service delivery model was operationalised. RESULTS: The focus of PARTNER is to provide patients with education, exercise and/or weight loss advice, and facilitate effective self-management through behavioural change support. Stage 1 model design: based on clinical practice guidelines, known evidence practice gaps in current care, chronic disease management frameworks, input from stakeholders and the opportunities and constraints afforded by the Australian primary care context, we developed the PARTNER service-delivery model. The key components are: (1) an effective GP consultation and (2) follow-up and ongoing care provided remotely (telephone/email/online resources) by a 'Care Support Team'. Stage 2 GP behavioural change intervention: a multimodal behavioural change intervention was developed comprising a self-audit/feedback activity, online professional development and desktop software to provide decision support, patient information resources and a referral mechanism to the 'Care Support Team'. Stage 3 operationalising the 'care support team'-staff recruited and trained in evidence-based knee OA management and behavioural change methodology. CONCLUSION: The PARTNER model is the result of a comprehensive implementation strategy development process using evidence, behavioural change theory and intervention development guidelines. Technologies for scalable delivery were harnessed and new primary evidence was generated as part of the process.Trial registration number ACTRN12617001595303 (UTN U1111-1197-4809).

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

Publication Date





knee, musculoskeletal disorders, primary care