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Discussion Groups

OARSI's Discussion Groups bring together individuals with a focus on specific OA-related specialty areas. For specific Discussion Group event information, click HERE

Joint Effort Initiative Discussion Group

The ‘Joint Effort’ Initiative (JEI) Discussion Group is an international collaboration of 100+ researchers (22 countries, 6 continents), clinicians, consumers, and consumer organizations who are concerned with the implementation of evidence-based, cost-effective, osteoarthritis care for all, particularly through coordinated osteoarthritis management programs (OAMPs). Our mission is to investigate the best osteoarthritis management program models to use, develop long-term strategies for effective implementation of these programs in different socioeconomic and cultural environments, and identify research priorities to facilitate best evidence care internationally. Priorities for the work of the JEI were established in 2018 through an international survey and consensus study (

Our current projects fall under the themes of:

  • Implementation of OAMPs
  • Measuring Clinical Outcomes
  • Education and Training for Healthcare Professionals

JEI members are invited to participate in working groups or special projects undertaken by the Initiative.

Click HERE for more information on the Joint Effort Initiative Discussion Group, 

Chairs: David Hunter, Jillian Eyles, Jocelyn Bowden


Imaging Discussion Group

The OARSI Imaging Discussion Group was created to bring clinicians, radiologists, imaging researchers, and industry representatives together to discuss OA imaging and the latest trends. The group provides a forum to review State-of-the-Art imaging technologies and their application in clinical settings. In addition, members discuss clinical translation, education, and gaps in research. The group also provides an expert forum that may be used during the approval process of imaging biomarkers by regulatory agencies. The Imaging Discussion Group meets yearly, typically around the OARSI World Congress. The outcome of this meeting often results in the composition of review articles, white papers, and/or position statements.

Chairs: Thomas Link and Xiaojuan Li


International Foot and Ankle Osteoarthritis Consortium Discussion Group

The International Foot and Ankle OA Consortium Discussion Group was established in January 2019 and endorsed by OARSI as a Discussion Group in May 2019 at the OARSI World Congress in Toronto. The discussion group brings together a network of clinicians, scientists, and other health professionals/key stakeholders who share a common interest in foot and ankle OA. Its aim is to drive the research agenda related to OA setting research priorities in foot and ankle OA to maximize progress and impact that will ultimately improve outcomes for people with OA. A secondary aim is that the foot and ankle could also be viewed as an untapped ‘case study’ into OA research, that if given more focused and collaborative attention internationally may provide some additional insights into the aetiopathogenesis of OA in general.

Chair: Catherine Bowen


International Hand Osteoarthritis Consortium Discussion Group

The Hand Osteoarthritis Consortium Discussion Group is a new OARSI Discussion Group. It focuses on defining priorities for hand osteoarthritis research. The group brings together clinicians and healthcare workers, academics and scientists, and key stakeholders. At the OARSI 2021 Congress, the Discussion Group provided an online forum to discuss in particular whether different hand osteoarthritis phenotypes exist. An electronic polling system was used to assess consensus between the Discussion Group attendees, and the results were shared in real time. It is also planned that the results will be submitted for publication. Future meetings are anticipated to run annually at the OARSI Congresses, and these are likely to provide both networking and discussion opportunities for anyone interested in the hand osteoarthritis field.

Chairs: Kari Shah and Nigel Arden


Pain in Osteoarthritis Discussion Group

The Pain in Osteoarthritis Discussion Group is led by Professor Jason McDougall, Dalhousie University. The group deliberates:

  • The complexity of OA pain mechanisms – from joint to brain
  • The relevance/reproducibility of pain assessment techniques
  • Heterogeneity of OA pain phenotypes
  • Viability of current/novel analgesics
  • Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of joint pain
  • Biopsychosocial concepts in OA Pain

The discussion group consists of over 115 members whose research focuses on pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Chairs: Jason McDougall


OA Prevention related to Sport, Exercise, and Physical Activity Discussion Group

UPCOMING WEBINAR on Thursday, December 9. Click HERE for more details. 

The Osteoarthritis Prevention Related to Sport, Exercise, and Physical Activity (SEPA) Discussion Group focuses on reducing the public health impact of osteoarthritis through osteoarthritis prevention research and knowledge translation activities with a focus on sport, exercise, and physical activity. To achieve these goals, the discussion group seeks to create collaborative opportunities for researchers, research trainees, clinicians, and other stakeholders (e.g., advocacy groups, patients) in the area of injury and osteoarthritis prevention (e.g., multicentre studies, development of recommendations, consensus development) with a focus on sport, exercise, and physical activity.

The Discussion Group promotes opportunities to raise the bar internationally in research in osteoarthritis prevention related to sport, exercise, and physical activity. Member benefits from the group’s webinars and annual meeting at the OARSI World Congress.  Finally, the group encourages consensus and systematic review projects as well as a special issue of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage focused on prevention.

Chairs: Carolyn Emery and Jeff Driban


Osteoarthritis Rehabilitation Discussion Group

The OARSI Rehabilitation Discussion Group aims to bring together a network of researchers and clinicians who share a common interest in the rehabilitation of people with osteoarthritis. we endeavor to provide a forum for communication, networking, information sharing, and discussion and collaboration for osteoarthritis researchers working in the rehabilitation field. We work to facilitate the development and implementation of high-quality research in rehabilitation, and contribute to mentoring of early career researchers in the rehabilitation area to increase research capacity.

Chair: Kim Bennell


Spinal Osteoarthritis Discussion Group

The Spinal Osteoarthritis Discussion Group was formed in In 2018 with the main aim of identifying and classifying spinal OA and its impact on the management and burden of low back pain in older patients. Our working group was selected to present a pre-OARSI Conference in 2019 and in 2020 the Spinal OA working group became the current Spinal OA Discussion Group with our first meeting held in April 2021. The aim of the DG is to raise awareness and scientific and clinical robustness of the diagnosis and management of Spinal OA. The activities carried out by the DG include:

  1. Workshop on spinal OA definition, phenotype, and management at the 2019 OARSI Conference
  2. Survey of OARSI members on the need for a phenotype definition of Spinal OA

  3. Workshop on spinal OA definition, phenotype, and management at the 2019 International Low Back and Neck Pain Forum (premier low back pain conference worldwide)

  4. Survey of LBP Forum attendees on the need for a phenotype definition of Spinal OA

  5. Delphi exercise to define Spinal OA for both research and clinical practice purposes. The manuscript will be published soon!

Chairs: Manuela Ferreira and Chris Little 

Interested in joining any of our Discussion Groups?

Please follow the following steps. 

  1. Log in to
  2. Click on the menu button in the top left of the screen
  3. Select ‘My Profile’
  4. Select ‘Edit'
  5. Select the ‘My Account’ tab
  6. Scroll to Discussion Groups and select your group(s)

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