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National Osteoporosis Society

Osteoporosis helpline

0845 450 0230

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Research Studies

The National Osteoporosis Society encourages research projects which aim to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

On this page you will find links to information on research studies currently being carried out into osteoporosis/bone health and ways that you can get involved.


Interested in health research?

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) needs people with everyday experience of osteoporosis as a patient or carer to comment on research proposals. As a public reviewer for the NIHR, Evaluation, Trials and Studies (NETS) programmes, you could be invited to look at a research proposal or commissioning brief related to your own area of experience and answer some key questions to inform the board or panel. Each review is a stand-alone task, which is sent to you to do in your own time, to an agreed deadline.

The NIHR funds health research that produces evidence for professionals, policy makers and patients, so they can make informed decisions. And we know that research that reflects the needs and views of the public is more likely to produce results that can be used to improve health and social care.

To express an interest in being a public reviewer for research proposals please email us on netspublic@southampton.ac.uk or call a member of our team on 02380 599302.

Other ways of helping to shape health research include:

  • Suggesting a research topic
  • Becoming a public member of a panel or board.

To find out more: Visit www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/ppi


PROVE - Physiotherapy Rehabilitation for Osteoporotic Vertebral Fracture

The UK’s largest randomised controlled rehabilitation trial

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, with insufficient evidence to guide the prescription of rehabilitation including exercise or manual ‘hands on’ therapies in people with a history of vertebral fracture.

The objective of this trial is to evaluate the effects of exercise and manual therapy physiotherapy 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.  There are ten other sites across the country.

If you are interested in participating in the trial as a participant or a research site please contact Varsha Gandhi at prove@ndorms.ox.ac.uk or telephone 01865 223489. More details about the trial can be found at www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/prove/.


Illness and treatment experiences

Researchers from King’s College London would like to invite you to participate in this study examining patients’ experiences with their illness and treatment. Participants must be at least 18, with a diagnosis of any of the following clinical conditions: cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes, asthma, renal disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Participants are also required to identify a prescribed medication for their respective condition.

If you would like to take part please click this link which will take you to the online study and provide more information.

You are under no obligation to take part in this research, however if you choose to, participation in this research is voluntary and you may withdraw at any time.

This study has been approved by Psychiatry, Nursing & Midwifery (PNM RESC) ethics committee [Ref: PNM/13/14-120], and contributes to King’s College London's role in conducting research and teaching research methods.


Arthritis Research UK are looking for health professionals to join their clinical studies group

Interested in Research in Metabolic Bone Disease and Fracture? Arthritis Research UK is working to improve the care of patients with osteoporosis, other metabolic bone disorders and fracture by funding high quality clinical research. They are now looking to extend the clinical studies group and add 4 new topic specific groups. They are particularly interested in applicants from endocrinology, gerontology, orthopaedics and trauma, rehabilitation, primary care, clinical chemistry, study methodologists, health service managers and rheumatology.   More information

Opportunities for public contributors to Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Prioritisation panels

These are key roles which ensure that the public are actively involved in discussions and decisions on the prioritisation of NIHR health research.  As a patient/public panel member you will help to identify and raise issues from the perspective of patients and the public that are relevant to the research.

The HTA Programme produces independent research about the effectiveness of different healthcare treatments and tests for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS. It identifies the most important questions that the NHS needs the answers to by consulting widely with these groups, and commissions the research it thinks is most important through different funding routes.

If you feel that you could help the HTA programme by sharing your knowledge and experiences by becoming a Patient/Public member of one of the HTA Panels, then please visit the NETSCC website where you can find out more, including the information pack and how to apply.

If you have any queries please contact the NETSCC PPI team at netspublic@southampton.ac.uk or 023 8059 9302.


Medicines and Your Quality of Life

Many people are expected to take medicines long term, balancing the risk of potential adverse effects against the perceived benefits, plus coping with the difficulties of managing these on a day- to day basis. Side effects are only one aspect of medicine use which cause difficulties; the burden of medicines use has not be quantified but experiences of using medicines, vary considerably, and many have negative views towards medicines and have difficulties using them .


Medway School of Pharmacy are undertaking a study, using a questionnaire to find out how people who have to take medicines long- term cope with them on a day-to- day basis, and how these medicines affect people’s lives.

If you are interested in participating in this study please follow this link https://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eL4Pe16LSij8PzL


Are You Getting Shorter?

Amgen are seeking people to join their research study. Your participation could help osteoporosis research.

  • Have you lost noticeable height since the age of your menopause?
  • Have you developed kyphosis (dowager’s hump) over the years after your menopause?

You may be eligible to participate in this study.

There are centres in Sheffield, Cambridge, Norwich, Cannock Chase, Warwick and Edinburgh taking part. If you are interested in finding out more about the study you can download more information here http://www.nos.org.uk/document.doc?id=1425


FRESH website

FRESH is for “Fun, Relevant activities to build Energy, Strength and a Healthy balance system”. That’s the kind of physical activities that are promoted in this new website designed for people of all ages but particularly older people. This website will give you information about strength and balance training so that you can do the right kinds of physical activities that are important as we get older.

By answering a few questions, you will help researchers at Bournemouth University who are trying to find the best ways of presenting this information on the Internet.

Visit the website at www.freshbalance.org.uk



The Screening of Older Women for Prevention of fracture study (SCOOP) is a major, randomised controlled trial coordinated by the University of East Anglia over a seven year period. It is designed to test a method of screening for risk of fracture for women aged 70 to 85 years.

If you are conducting research and would like to advertise your study on this page, please email research@nos.org.uk

Please note: Inclusion of studies on this page does not imply endorsement or approval of the project or its outcomes by the National Osteoporosis Society.


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Related links

Association of Medical Research Charities: www.amrc.org.uk 

Hip fractures cost the NHS and government more than £2.3 billion a year – that’s £6 million a day.

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