Frequently Asked Questions

Below we've answered some frequently asked questions about the study which we hope will help you better understand what is involved. If you still have questions, then please don't hesitate to contact us on 

You will have received a letter of invitation, an information leaflet and a questionnaire along with a pre-paid envelope. If you are interested in taking part, please fill in and return the questionnaire using the pre-paid envelope provided. The questionnaire includes a consent form and some questions to make sure the study is right for you. 

If you do not wish to take part in this study you can write on the front of the questionnaire that you do not want to take part and return it to us in the envelope provided. We realise people are busy and do not always have the time to complete and return the questionnaire. For this reason, we will send you a reminder if we do not receive the questionnaire or have any contact from you after 2 weeks. If you have decided that you do not want to take part, please ignore this reminder or contact Keele Clinical Trials Unit to let us know that you do not wish to take part. 

If you return your questionnaire, consent to take part, and the study is right for you, we will send you a series of six questionnaires over a three-year period. We will also invite you to participate in the optional parts of the study. 

The results from the PANDA-S study will help the research team understand who is likely to experience long-lasting shoulder pain. The team can then use this information to help design a better way for GPs and physiotherapists to decide which type of treatment is best for each patient. 

You have been invited to take part because you recently saw your doctor or physiotherapist about shoulder pain, and agreed to receive information about the PANDA-S study. 

If the study is right for you and you consent to take part you will be invited to complete 6 questionnaires over the next 3 years. Each questionnaire will ask about your shoulder pain and how it has affected you and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. 

You will also be given the opportunity to take part in additional optional parts of the PANDA-S study: 

  • You will be invited to attend a research clinic for a detailed physical examination and an ultrasound of your shoulder. We anticipate the examination and scan will take approximately an hour and a half. You can find out more from our information leaflet
  • You will be invited to complete a weekly record of your shoulder pain either using an app for your smartphone/tablet or by using SMS text messaging. You will be invited to complete this weekly record for 12 weeks. We anticipate that this will take you approximately 10 minutes per week. If you are using the smartphone/tablet app then please download and read the guide. If you are using the text messaging service, we've provided some examples of frequently asked questions
  • A small number of people will also be invited to take part in an interview with a researcher from the study team to discuss their shoulder pain and the care and treatment they have received. If you have been invited to interview, you can find out more from our information leaflet

If you choose only to complete the questionnaires, you will still be making a valuable contribution to the study. 

No, it is completely up to you whether or not you take part. This will not affect the treatment you receive in any way. If you do decide to take part today you can change your mind at any time up to a month after the interview.

The information collected about you will be treated in strict confidence and in accordance with current general data protection regulations, details of which were provided in the initial Participant Information Leaflet. You can find out more about how we use your information at:

The information we get from this study will help to support how doctors and physiotherapists treat people with shoulder pain, how patients can manage their own shoulder pain, and deciding when people with shoulder pain should be seen by other healthcare professionals, for example, a surgeon. There may not be any immediate benefits for you, although some people find it rewarding to take part in health research. Your participation in this study will help to: 

  • Improve information for patients with shoulder pain about its possible cause 
  • Help doctors and physiotherapists to better advise patients with shoulder pain which treatment is best for them 
  • Improve treatment options and reduce unnecessary tests or treatments i those who don't need them 
  • Reduce long-term pain, disability, and work loss due to shoulder pain 

We are not anticipating any risks in taking part in the PANDA-S research study. 

For those who agree to take part in the optional clinical assessment part of the study: People with shoulder pain do occasionally find that a physical examination can cause some discomfort, although this is usually short-lasting and does not indicate any underlying change in their condition. There are no known risks from the sound wave used in an ultrasound assessment. 

The care you receive from your GP practice or physiotherapy service will not affected by your participation in the PANDA-S study. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Keele Clinical Trials Unit during office hours on 01782 732950 or email

Alternatively for independent advice, feedback or complaints you can contact the NHS England Customer Contact Centre, Tel: 0300 3112233 (email

PANDA-S is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (RP-PG-0615-20002) and Versus Arthritis. The Primary Care Centre Versus Arthritis at Keele University is organising the research in collaboration with the University of Oxford. 

The study has been approved by the Yorkshire & The Humber - Sheffield Research Ethics Committee, REC reference: 18/YH/0346, IRAS Project ID: 242750