The PRELIM initiative: Improving musculoskeletal health intelligence

Disease - Osteoarthritis, back pain, other surgical techniques

Lead applicant - Dr Ross Wilkie

Organisation - Keele University

Type of grant - Health Services Research

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £297,833.83

Start date - 1 January 2017

Reference - 21403

Public Summary

These health services research grants were funded as a joint working programme between Versus Arthritis and Pfizer Ltd, in partnership with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

What are the aims of this research?

Better health intelligence is needed for the common musculoskeletal conditions that cause the greatest amount of disability in the United Kingdom. The overall aim of the research is to use the primary care electronic health record alongside patient collected data to achieve the development of a system that can be used to describe the status of musculoskeletal health within the UK, and monitor variation over time and between different geographical and other defined populations.

Why is this research important?

The ultimate purpose of our research is to harness primary care electronic health records and patient-reported data from the registered practice population for meaningful and sustainable surveillance of musculoskeletal health, illness, clinical care and outcomes in the UK. Analysis of the data will determine the occurrence, impact, and healthcare outcomes of adults with musculoskeletal conditions with particular focus on disability, work participation, quality of life and low back and shoulder surgery.

The study will allow the development of national and regional estimates of musculoskeletal health over time, providing a unique source of data for health research on musculoskeletal conditions and an electronic instrument to routinely monitor the impact of musculoskeletal conditions in the general population which will provide valuable information for directing policy, practice and further research.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The findings of this research will be of direct benefit to patients. The team will work with organisations, doctors and other health professionals (such as GPs, rheumatologists and allied health professionals) to help change current ways of managing musculoskeletal conditions and their impact. This will aim to prevent the impact of these conditions through health promotion and screening programmes.