Welcome to the Keele STarT MSK Tool© 2017

The Keele STarT MSK Tool was developed within the Keele Aches and Pains Study (KAPS). The tool aims to ensure that patients with common musculoskeletal conditions receive the right treatments at the earliest opportunity. The tool contains 10 items that once scored can place patients into three categories based on their risk of a poor outcome (low, medium, and high). These categories can then be used freely by public bodies (e.g practitioners within the NHS, and non-commercial research groups). 

Common musculoskeletal pain (back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and multi-site pain) can cause considerable problems for people, often having great costs to both the individual and society as a whole. Effective treatments exist, but often practitioners find it difficult to match the right patient to the right treatment using clinical intuition. Keele University has designed this tool that categorises patients as low, medium or high risk of a poor outcome.  Work is currently ongoing within a new study at Keele; The STarT MSK Trial (TAPS), to test whether matching treatments to the different categories of risk is better than usual care. 

Keele University has already successfully demonstrated that using a simple prognostic questionnaire (STarT Back Screening Tool) at the point of consultation to categorise patients into different risk groups, and then linking matched treatments to those groups (Stratified Care), has been proven to be more clinically and cost-effective than usual care for those with back pain.  

The Keele STarT MSK Tool©2017 is freely available to public bodies (e.g. practitioners within the NHS), and non-commercial research groups, license agreements will be developed for commercial users on a case by case basis. All potential users should register, and once your application is approved (normally within a few days) we will send you the tool.

The copyright (©2017) of the Keele STarT MSK Tool (Self-Report and Clinical versions) and associated materials is owned by Keele University, the development of which was funded by a grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR; RP-PG-1211- 20010), Arthritis Research UK (13413) and an NIHR research professorship (NIHR-RP-011-015)