Implementing the MSK-HQ to empower patients and improve services

Disease - Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain

Lead applicant - Dr Jonathan Hill

Organisation - Keele University

Type of grant - Health Services Research

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £270,418.42

Start date - 1 April 2017

Reference - 21405

Public Summary

This health service research grant was 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?

The Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ) is a short questionnaire that allows people with musculoskeletal conditions (such as arthritis or back pain) to report their symptoms and quality of life in a standardised way. This project aims to find useful ways to implement the MSK-HQ into routine practice, and to assess its value.

Why is this research important?

The researchers will use an IT platform to support the use of the MSK-HQ within the individual consultation, which has the potential to bring many advantages to people with MSK conditions, allowing them to own and access their care plan.

A scoping exercise and consensus workshop process with stakeholders will be conducted to agree the requirements for the MSK-HQ IT system to ensure it is user friendly and acts as a helpful, engaging consultation prompt and care planning tool from both the patient and clinician perspective. Following this, a before-and-after comparison study to test the MSK-HQ’s feasibility and impact on patient empowerment will be carried out. Patients will be consented and recruited at their initial clinic visit, with subsequent follow-up immediately after their consultation and 3 and 6 months later.

How will the findings benefit patients?

By ensuring that treatment is patient-centred, this project will help empower patients in the care planning process and ensure treatment services address the individual needs of patients. Patients will be provided with a simple tool they can use on their phone or any online device to help them have a greater say and control about what is discussed in the consultation, ensure that their consultations are more patient-centred and focus on their individual needs, that agreed treatment plans are recorded on a system that patients can access themselves at home or share with other healthcare professionals they consult, and finally it will enable them to better monitor their own musculoskeletal health status over time.