Associate Professor Jacquie Kidd is the Equity Lead on a five-year HRC funded project exploring accessible interventions for osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is among the most common long-term conditions in New Zealand. The burden of pain, disability and economic cost is rising, especially for Māori. Access to treatments is poor. While joint replacement surgery is cost effective, capacity is already strained and demand is growing rapidly.
A programme of four linked multi-disciplinary projects will look at ways to deliver best value for money and equity in managing osteoarthritis in New Zealand’s public health system, from prevention to joint replacement surgery.
This five-year programme, Reducing the burden of osteoarthritis in Aotearoa, received nearly $5 million in funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) and will be led by Professor Haxby Abbott at the University of Otago.
The research team approached Associate Professor Jacquie Kidd (Ngāpuhi), Associate Head of School: Māori Advancement at the AUT School of Clinical Sciences, to ensure that the programme contributes to health equity. Her previous research in Māori health and anti-racism health practices, focuses on equity and valuing whānau voices.
“The project I’m leading will work closely with the three clinical projects to evaluate their processes and findings in relation to the WAI 2575 Waitangi Tribunal report, and ensure that whānau Māori are well represented at all levels of the project,” she says.
Kidd is hopeful that she can adapt her work on Critical Tiriti Analysis (CTA) – conducted with Associate Professor Heather Came and Adjunct Professor Dominic O’Sullivan at AUT, and Professor Tim McCreanor at Massey University – so the evaluation can be prospective and responsive.
“This is an opportunity to work in real-time with Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibilities for the benefit of whānau, hapū and iwi. I also get to exercise some creativity in the way that we present our findings to our whānau, hapori and stakeholders. We need to move beyond academic papers and reports if we want to make a difference in the world,” says Kidd.
The projects have interwoven threads that relate to Te Tiriti, equity and mātauranga, and Māori researchers working on them.
For early and mid-stage osteoarthritis, cost-effective interventions are known to have good outcomes and are potentially cost-saving compared to current practice, but are not being delivered.
Coping with future demand will require resource allocation. The health sector must consider preventative measures and coordinated delivery of accessible, equitable, effective and cost-effective interventions.