Research to improve the lives of people living with musculoskeletal conditions
Keele University researchers are working with a leading charity to investigate how musculoskeletal pain can affect people’s health and quality of life – to make healthcare services better suited to serve their local populations.
Working in collaboration with the Nuffield Foundation, the researchers aim to equip healthcare services with information that will maximise the quality of life for people suffering with musculoskeletal conditions - pain that comes from bones, muscles and joints from conditions such as low back pain, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
The findings of the study will play a critical role in helping healthcare professionals respond to the challenges that patients are currently facing, and will be shaped by the responses of people across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who use these services.
Previous research carried out at Keele indicates that musculoskeletal conditions are common in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, but the number of people who experience long lasting pain ranges considerably across the region. In some places one in every two people aged 35 and above have long-term pain, whilst in other places it is less than one in every five people. The number of people with pain that impacts on their daily life also ranges between areas – one in every three people in some places, compared to one in every 20 in others.
The researchers are keen to work out why there are differences across the area to inform the planning of healthcare in the region. People aged 35 and above who are registered with general practices across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being asked to complete a short health survey as part of the study.
Lead researcher Dr Ross Wilkie, Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology, said: "We are keen to understand everyone’s health and needs in the area to guide how local healthcare is organised. I am concerned that we currently plan healthcare based on less than half the story.
"We want to get the picture right and we can only do this if people take part in the study. If they do, we can better manage and prevent the impact of painful conditions and reduce the inequalities we currently see."
Patients who are eligible to take part will be contacted directly by their GP.
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