New trial seeks to PROVE the effectiveness of physiotherapy for osteoporosis

PROVE (Physiotherapy Rehabilitation for Osteoporotic Vertebral Fracture), the UK’s largest randomised controlled rehabilitation trial, aims to evaluate the effect of physiotherapy on spinal fractures due to osteoporosis.  The importance for robust evidence collected from methodological sound trials for physiotherapy practice is clear. This is an opportunity to take part in a study that will contribute to evidence-based practice in the physiotherapy treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fracture.

Osteoporosis and vertebral fracture can have a considerable impact on an individual’s quality of life due to pain, limitations in activity, social participation and altered mood. Of the 120,000 spinal fractures every year 40 % of people diagnosed with osteoporotic spinal fractures remain untreated. Current non-surgical practice to manage spinal osteoporosis is mostly restricted to pain management. There is insufficient evidence to guide the prescription of exercise or manual ‘hands on’ therapies in people with vertebral fracture. Therefore we have designed a 3 arm-trial comparing usual care, exercise and manual therapy based interventions.

The objective of this trial is to evaluate the effects of exercise and manual therapy treatments upon quality of life, function and pain, for people who have had one or more spinal fractures due to osteoporosis.

Recruitment started in January 2014 with the aim to recruit 600 participants.  It is led by Dr Karen Barker, an experienced physiotherapist, and is based at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford. The study is also taking place in the following locations, Royal Surrey County, Royal Devon & Exeter, Torbay, QMC Nottingham, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Haywood Hospital Stoke-on-Trent, Southend, Ipswich, Royal Orthopaedic Birmingham, University College London, Worthing, and Portsmouth.

If you are interested in participating in the trial as a participant or a research site please contact Varsha Gandhi by email or telephone 01865 223489.

Find out more about the trial

Find out more about Osteoporosis