The quality of life impact of living with arthritis and other chronic conditions

Disease - Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain

Lead applicant - Dr Barbara Nicholl

Organisation - University of Glasgow

Type of grant - Health Services Research

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £380,577.77

Start date - 1 November 2018

Reference - 21970

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

People with persistent musculoskeletal pain or arthritis often have other physical or mental health conditions. The aim of this research is to investigate what additional conditions people with musculoskeletal conditions have and how this affects their quality of life.

Why is this research important?

The impact on the quality of life of living with other conditions, alongside musculoskeletal conditions, is not well understood. It is therefore important to try to understand how people’s quality of life and general wellbeing are affected by having several health conditions. Current guidelines for healthcare professionals often only refer to treatment for a single condition, and so it is important to be clear on the best way to treat people with multiple conditions. This will ensure they have access to the right treatments to help them manage their health better and improve outcomes.

The researchers will use existing data from individuals with persistent musculoskeletal pain and look specifically at people with rheumatoid arthritis. They will investigate how many and what kind of conditions people have and determine the impact of having multiple conditions on factors such as number of hospital admissions and mortality. They will look at whether factors such as where people live, what they earn, gender or age, influence patient outcomes. The researchers will also interview healthcare professionals and people with persistent musculoskeletal pain or rheumatoid arthritis to understand their experiences of living with and managing several conditions.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Researchers will use the information they have gathered to develop new ways for patients to manage persistent musculoskeletal pain or rheumatoid arthritis alongside other health conditions. It could lead to treatments specifically designed for individuals with more than one health condition to improve their quality of life.