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New funding awarded to tackle inequalities in osteoporosis care

Head office

07 Feb 2024

Osteoporosis is one of the most urgent public health crises of the modern era. The ROS remains committed to driving research in areas that we believe will bring about the maximum clinical benefit to people affected by the condition, particularly focusing on diagnosis and treatment.  

Over the last three years, the ROS has invested over £1million in our research programme, including sponsoring over £809,000 in research projects helping to play a vital role in reducing health inequalities in osteoporosis care. 

Our 2023 Research and Innovation Grants Round was highly competitive, seeing a 2.5 fold increase in application numbers compared to the previous year. Today, the ROS announced the three new research projects it will be funding, chosen from last year’s applicants. Projects were identified using our Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) approved review process, of which we currently hold an award for from the AMRC for ‘Best Practice in Medical and Health Research Peer Review’. 

The new research projects the ROS will be funding this year are: 

  • Bettering Our uNderstanding of ostEoporosis (BONE) Study: Use and patient experience of romosozumab in the NHS 

Dr Kassim Javaid, University of Oxford  

This grant will improve understanding about patient access to romosozumab, ensuring there aren’t exclusions based on where people live or their age. The results aim to provide the evidence to hold organisations to account and inform strategies to improve decision making. 

  • Objective physical activity measurement in a feasibility randomised controlled trial of outdoor mobility after hip fracture  

Professor Katie Sheehan, Ms Rhian Milton-Cole, Professor Emma Godfrey, Kings College London  

Healthcare after a broken hip rarely includes support to go outside, and currently only one in four patients recover this ability by the time they are four months post hip fracture. This grant will assess if more sensitive measurements of how much physical activity people do (and where) can be used to ultimately improve recovery and promote outdoor mobility for people after a hip fracture.  

  • Tackling health inequities in hip fracture care delivery and patient outcomes 

Dr Rita Patel, University of Bristol  

Each year more than 70,000 older adults are admitted to UK hospitals with hip fractures. This grant aims to analyse data to identify which key factors (e.g. geography, deprivation, ethnicity) need to be targeted to make access more equitable. This is an enhancement of the current REDUCE (REducing unwarranted variation in the Delivery of high-qUality hip fraCture services in England and Wales) Toolkit. 

Dr Rita Patel, Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology at the Musculoskeletal Research Unit within University of Bristol is principal investigator on one of this year’s successful research projects.  

Dr Patel, ROS grant recipient, said:  

“I am thrilled that we have been awarded a project grant from the Royal Osteoporosis Society to examine inequalities in care delivery and patient outcomes after hip fracture. Breaking a hip is often the first sign of osteoporosis. Despite national hip fracture care standards, some groups of people have worse outcomes. This funding will allow us to examine the reasons why and develop tools to help hospitals provide equitable care.  

“This research grant will strengthen my longer-term research aspirations and plans to develop future projects aimed at reducing health inequalities and unwarranted variations in musculoskeletal services to benefit patient care.” 

The ROS and all successful grants sponsored by the charity put the voice of people living with osteoporosis at the heart of their work, with clear public and patient involvement plans. When identifying which projects to support, the ROS consults with patients and members of the public to make sure all funded proposals address the urgent gaps in osteoporosis care.   

Sheena Muncie, a patient representative on the ROS Research and Innovation Grants Assessment Panel (RIGAP), said: 
“As someone living with osteoporosis, it has been fascinating to see the range of applications this year which address the key issues facing patients and medics, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the RIGAP panel. It’s so important that funding is provided to projects which focus on the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and that the ROS lead on this. I was also impressed with the profile of individual project teams many of whom demonstrated an excellent understanding of osteoporosis.”

This year, the ROS will continue to invest in research by stepping up efforts to prevent the first fracture, including through research to build the case for the world’s first screening programme for hip fracture risk amongst older women. 

Read more about our research programme. 

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