Dr Jackie Whittaker Receives Arthritis Society Canada Funding

Congratulations to Dr Jackie Whittaker’s team for securing a 3-year Arthritis Society Canada Strategic Operating Grant.

Arthritis Society Canada announced the recipients of the 6th annual Stars Career Development Awards and 12th annual Strategic Operating Grants. This year’s group of 10 recipients from across the nation are leading cutting-edge research, including using AI to design tailored blood tests, studying genetic pre-determinants that increase arthritis risk, and understanding how one’s brain contributes to knee osteoarthritis pain.  

Grant application title: Self-managing Knee Health in Young People at High-risk of Early-onset Osteoarthritis: The MyKnee Randomized Controlled Trial“ 

Lay Title:  MyKnee: Taking Back Control after a Knee Injury

Lay Abstract:  Osteoarthritis – an incurable joint condition, will cost the Canadian economy $7.9 billion by 2031 and affect 25% of our population by 2040. Although many think only older people get osteoarthritis, half of young Canadians who hurt their knee develop osteoarthritis by age 40. These ‘young people with old knees’ face pain and disability for much of their adult lives, yet most don’t know how to reduce their risk. Along with patients and clinicians, our team designed a new program education and exercise program to address this gap. SOAR (Stop OsteoARthritis) is a virtual, physiotherapist-guided knee health program with individualized education, exercise, and counselling. Although SOAR holds promise, a clinical trial is needed to understand if it improves user’s ability to self-manage their knee health and improve pain and function. What we learn will help us design a study to assess if SOAR can decrease the number of Canadians who develop early-onset osteoarthritis.