Supported self-management for people living with musculoskeletal pain

Disease - Osteoarthritis, knee pain, back pain

Lead applicant - Professor Joanne Protheroe

Organisation - Keele University

Type of grant - Health Services Research

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £191,986.25

Start date - 1 January 2019

Reference - 21952

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

The aim of this research is to develop better ways to help people manage their aches and pains. The researchers will work with patients, healthcare professionals and experts to understand why some people manage their pain better than others and propose a plan to ensure support is available to everyone.

Why is this research important?

It is known that current treatments for supported self-management of aches and pains don’t work for everyone, therefore it is important to develop a plan that will ensure this type of support is available to everyone. The way people access, understand and use healthcare information and services is referred to as health literacy. For example, high health literacy may help people make decisions about their health and early studies show it can also improve their ability to manage pain. However, it has been found that nearly half of the English population have low health literacy, which affects their ability to manage their own healthcare.

Therefore, this study will look at the link between low health literacy and an individual’s ability to manage their aches and pains. It will use previous research studies to determine what self-care methods have worked and the best ways of giving improved support. People with aches and pains and/or low health literacy will be asked about their own experiences, particularly around self-management of aches and pains and how support can be improved.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The findings from this research will be reviewed by patients, healthcare professionals and experts to improve the quality of life and independence of all people who have aches and pains. This may lead to a larger study where the proposed solution can be tested.