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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Strategy development and priority setting

The Musculoskeletal Pain CSG will support and develop a comprehensive portfolio of clinical studies directed towards and including clinical trials in all areas of musculoskeletal pain across the UK. It will advise Arthritis Research UK in defining research priorities in musculoskeletal pain for their support and adoption. 

The CSG will bring together the expertise and enthusiasm necessary to establish an authoritative voice in the musculoskeletal pain research community directed towards clinical trials and related studies.

The CSG will have two main responsibilities:

  • reactive and proactive - to support and develop a portfolio of clinical studies directed towards and including clinical trials in all areas of musculoskeletal pain across the UK
  • advisory - to advise Arthritis Research UK in defining research priorities in musculoskeletal pain for their support, submission for external funding and subsequent adoption to run through the CLRN
    Read the strategy  

MSK Pain CSG Strategy Jan 2016 (PDF 544 KB)

Developing the Pain CSG Portfolio
The research priorities for the Pain Group has been developed through the following process. This process is iterative in response to input from members of the group, Arthritis Research UK and other group leaders.

Stage 1: Establish the Musculoskeletal Pain Disorders Clinical Studies Group

  • the Musculoskeletal Pain CSG steering group, consisting of active research leaders from the field of musculoskeletal pain, has been established by the Chairman (EH), and terms of reference agreed
  • nominated individuals were chosen according to agreed criteria. This is a “working” group, chosen from experts in main topical areas (e.g. back pain, regional pain, widespread pain); with a range of methodological expertise (e.g. trials, qualitative, health economics, statistics) and representing a range of health care professionals, primary and secondary care. Patient and public involvement is crucial
  • the steering group has overall responsibility for supporting the Chair to develop strategy, review Expressions of Interest, provide expert advice to potential PIs and organise an annual workshop

Stage 2: Scoping exercise 
The Group carried out a scoping exercise, which is updated every 6 months, to

  1. identify current high quality trial and other clinical research activity in musculoskeletal pain (see horizon scanning document)
  2. identify duplications / opportunities for collaboration and gaps, and 
  3. collate a database of an inclusive, multi-professional group of users, researchers and clinicians to shape, and contribute to, the research programme and to develop new research questions.

The latter was achieved by identifying key stake-holders through, for example, Special Interest Groups, professional societies (e.g. Physiotherapy, Pain Society), local and national networks, patient groups (e.g. Arthritis Care), Arthritis Research UK's list of grant-holders in appropriate areas, Medline search to identify Principal Investigators on key publications, and the National Research Register.

Stage 3: Priority setting
Building on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities which highlighted by the scoping exercise, the CSG drew up short and longer (5 year) priorities for the Musculoskeletal Pain Research Agenda. This was fed back to the broader research community for consultation at the annual workshop in 2008, and the strategy published in 2009.


For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
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