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MSK/ Rheumatology Research

Led by Prof Hammond and Dr Prior. Current projects include:

Understanding and evaluating therapy interventions:

A. Work: we are part of the Arthritis Research UK/ Medical Research Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work. 

WORKWELL: development and evaluation of a "staying in work" job retention programme for employed people with Inflammatory Arthritis: a randomised controlled trial. Alongside this we are surveying Rheumatology Occupational Therapy provision for working people with arthritis; and conducting interviews with participating employed people with arthritis and the treating therapists. Please visit our WORKWELL study page to find out more about the WORKWELL trial and our earlier feasibility trial (WORK-IA).  

B. Orthoses:

A-GLOVES: A randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of compression gloves in rheumatoid arthritis. We have previously completed a pilot observational study (C-Gloves) to assist planning this trial. Please visit our A-Gloves study page to find out more.

HOOT: Hand Orthoses in musculoskeletal/rheumatology OT: surveys of OT orthoses provision, systematic reviews and clinical trials of orthoses.

C. Self-Management:

SMART: Self-Management in Arthritis. A programme of studies investigating: self-management information needs; evaluating and disseminating the Looking After Your Joints Programme in inflammatory arthritis and hand OA; qualitative studies, collaboration in fatigue management trials. 

LMAP: evaluation of a self-management programme, the Lifestyle Management for Arthritis Programme: long term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial; observational and qualitative studies.

FAME: development and evaluation of a fibromyalgia self-management programme.

MSKHub.com: a digital self-management and advice platform on which the MSK-PROMS and WORK-PROMS are also located.

Clinical Measurement Tools: Patient Reported Outcome Measures:

MSK-PROMs: Musculoskeletal Patient Reported Outcome Measures for using in rehabilitation practice, audit and research. This includes linguistic validation and psychometric evaluation of different language versions of measures of:  

  • activities of daily living: British English, Dutch and German versions of the Evaluation of Daily Activity Questionnaire (EDAQ) in rheumatoid arthritis. The British English version is also tested in 7 other musculoskeletal conditions (Osteoarthritis; Ankylosing Spondylitis; Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain; Chronic Hand Conditions; Sjogrens Syndrome; Scleroderma; and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.   
  • participation (British English Valued Life Activities Scale (VLAS) in RA
  • hand function (British English Measure of Activity performance of the Hand (MAP-HAND) and Disabilities of the Arm Shoulder Hand (DASH) in RA

WORK- PROMS: British English, Swedish and Czech versions of the Work Activities Limitations Scale (WALS) and 6 other measures evaluating work contextual factors in RA; the British English version is also being tested in OA, AS and FM.

Understanding patients/ clients problems:

OCC-IMPACT:  using data gathered in the MSK- and WORK-PROMS studies to investigate the Occupational Performance impact of 8 musculoskeletal conditions.

WORK-IT: a systematic review and interview studies with employed people with osteoarthritis and employers of people with arthritis, identifying work-related problems.

Who we work with:

We work collaboratively with researchers in the UK at the Universities of: Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton, Lancaster, UCLAN (Central Lancashire), Lancaster, Keele, Leeds. Internationally, we work with researchers at the Universities of:  Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW, Switzerland), ICF Unit, Swiss Paraplegic Research (Switzerland); Leiden University Medical Centre (Netherlands), Lund (Sweden), Gothenburg (Sweden), Prague Institute of Rheumatology (Czech Republic), Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Marmara (Istanbul, Turkey), Ankara (Turkey), Boston (USA), British Columbia and Toronto (Canada).

We also have extensive networks with Rheumatology and Therapy departments throughout the UK, with whom we work collaboratively in identifying and recruiting patients and with therapists providing treatment in trials. A wide range of arthritis and musculoskeletal charities also kindly assist with contacting people with msk conditions who may wish to take part in our studies.