We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

It makes you think (2)

Issue 26 Synovium (Spring 2009)

Download this issue (opens in new window)(153.3 KB)

'What would sir like for his back pain this morning – some acupunture? – or perhaps a little manipulation?'

Another fascinating (and equally complex) study with accompanying editorial, this stime from the BMJ,1,2 examined the effect of patient preferences for treatments for musculoskeletal disorders in randomised controlled trials. High-quality studies of treatments for musculoskeletal disorders tend to demonstrate rather modest benefits and cost-effectiveness over controls. This systematic review with meta-analysis looked at studies that had noted patient preferences for treatments. Without going into detail here, the study found that patients randomised to a treatment for which they expressed a preference achieved a significantly greater effect size than those who expressed no preference for that treatment. There was no apparent negative effect in patients randomised to a treatment they did not prefer. The implications of these findings are that overall a treatment might be shown to have modest benefits and cost-effectiveness, but in patients who express a preference for, and receive, their desired treatment, benefits and cost-effectiveness might be significant.

'Then the needles it is sir'

Synovium archives

Browse previous issues of Synovium (all issues available as downloadable PDFs)

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.