April 4, 2019, by bmillar
Investigating Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing Cohort Study
The NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre is currently recruiting for a study investigating Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing, led by Professor David Walsh. This research is being funded by NIHR and Arthritis Research UK.
Professor David Walsh himself is a consultant rheumatologist, who first became interested in a career in rheumatology because of the exciting things happening in the 1970s and 80s in immunology. However, since then he has
developed a love and care for helping patients, wanting to understand and ease their symptoms and the pain they experience. Whilst there is still a lot we don’t know, 21stcentury technology has provided the potential for much better in the future!
The research itself focuses mainly on a need to re-evaluate and consider the mechanisms of pain in arthritis sufferers, working towards better treatments through a better understanding. Those who suffer from arthritis can experience pain in the structures of their musculoskeletal system, which is made up from muscles, bones, and joints. While conditions like arthritis are known to inflict pain in these areas, even normal ageing can affect this system. This can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as pain and fatigue, in turn negatively affecting people and preventing them from doing the things they need and want to do.
Whilst some treatments are available, and can ease the symptoms of those suffering, those with particularly severe symptoms have limited treatment options and may find no improvement through their medication. One reason why current treatments can be less helpful than we’d like is if only some rather than all people benefit from them, or if they only work for some rather than all musculoskeletal symptoms. The study aims to find ways of getting the right treatments to the right people at the right time. To do our research we need to be able to find people with particular characteristics or symptoms.
With 1 in 4 UK adults being affected by musculoskeletal problems on a daily basis, it is no surprise that over 5000 willing participants responded keen to engage in the study. Eligibility criteria included the ability to give consent, aged 18 or over, a frailty score of >0.12 on the eFl, and having or being at risk of developing musculoskeletal frailty, pain or disability.
The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of different types of musculoskeletal, problems in a community-derived population of men and women and to identify associations with each phenotype. This will be undertaken by a postal baseline and follow-up questionnaires.
During the study, participants were asked to fill in a simple questionnaire about their musculoskeletal health and wellbeing. Participants were further asked to consent to filling in an updated questionnaire every year for the next 5 years. In turn, researchers will use this information, along with information on participants’ health records to facilitate a nested study design. This means, a cohort of people with the condition of interest are recruited, and consented to approach for future studies.
Nottingham’s BRC aims to find a way of getting the right treatments to the right people at the right time. By analysing people with particular characteristics and symptoms, Walsh and his team will be able to use this information to characterise how different musculoskeletal problems develop or progress. This newly founded understanding gained through increased research will pave the way for better treatments, and in turn, better futures.
Participants who complete a questionnaire for this study, can enter a prize draw. Four lucky recipients received their vouchers just in time for Christmas!
For updates follow us @MskWellbeing