Lay Involvement in Knowledge Mobilisation

"I really enjoy being part of this friendly group. It's interesting and stimulating being able to support the research process from proposal development to informing patients and carers about the results. We all bring different skills and experience to the table, and it is gratifying to find that our input is really valued."

- Linda Parton, LINK group member

Joint Implementation of osteoarthritis Guidelines Across Western Europe 

The JIGSAW-E implementation project is based on a Keele research study which determined a model GP consultation for osteoarthritis and co-produced patient information (the osteoarthritis guidebook). The guidebook and model consultation were piloted in GP practices across the West Midlands and are now being rolled out to further practices in the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal and Norway. 

  • Members of the RUG co-produced an Osteoarthritis Guidebook during the initial research study. 
  • Tasked with answering the question how do we make the public aware that this resource is available, members of the LINK group have since designed an eye-catching, patient-friendly, informative poster to promote the guidebook and the JIGSAW-E service in primary care. Connections with Local Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) were particularly useful in this piece of work. The poster, along with accompanying leaflets and GP waiting room screens, is now in place in GP practices across the West Midlands. 
  • Members of the LINK have joined the project's international Community of Practice to share their own experiences of healthcare in the UK with other countries. They are Patient Champion who sit alongside Clinical Champions and members of the project team, tasked with championing the project and bringing their own skills, links and knowledge to do this. 
Stratified Care for Lower Back Pain

The STarT back implementation project is based on Keele research which found that by allocating back pain patients to different risk groups (stratifying them) they would receive more appropriate, cost-effective and time-saving treatment. Patients visiting their GP with lower back pain are asked 9 questions using the STarT Back Tool, which then puts them into low, medium or high-risk groups depending on their answers. Low-risk patients receive information, advice and painkillers, medium risk patients receive this plus physiotherapy and high-risk patients receive this plus emotional support. STarT Back was initially piloted in the West Midlands and is now used in practices across the UK and internationally. It has now been included in the NICE guidelines.

  • A group made up of RUG members with low back pain and LINK members devised a patient-facing back pain information leaflet, for patients in the UK and the USA. The leaflet is heavily influenced by patient experience and incorporates real-life patient stories. The information is aimed at back pain patients who are stratified into the ‘low risk’ category using the STarT Back tool. Patients in the low-risk group are given self-management advise and good quality information.

Download the 

A patient information leaflet was co-produced with members of the LINK and the RUG based on evidence from the Keele SMOOTH study. This information specifically focusses on hand osteoarthritis and supplements the Keele osteoarthritis guidebook. 

Download the osteoarthritis hand leaflet

The LINK group advised on routes for dissemination for the Keele Pain Recorder app and co-produced a poster advertising the app to fellow patients. 

The LINK group are working with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to create a lay version of the NIHR Moving Foward Themed Review. 

For more information about the LINK group, please contact or