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The three year funding will provide evidence on how musculoskeletal conditions progress and their effect on people’s well-being and life chances.

Alan Silman

Alan Silman, Professor of Musculoskeletal Health at NDORMS has been awarded a grant from the Nuffield Foundation to understand and improve decision making for joint replacement surgery in older patients with complex health needs.

Six research teams across five UK Universities are receiving a share of £4 million in research funding from the Nuffield Foundation, which is supporting research to improve the lives of people living with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions by influencing policy and practice.

Alan's research will generate new data to inform patient decision making. Weighing up the risks and benefits when deciding whether to have a joint replacement is not straightforward for older people who have knee osteoarthritis.

Researchers will conduct in-depth interviews with 60 people aged 70 or over, from locations across England, who have been referred for possible surgery for severe knee osteoarthritis, and who have other health conditions. The team will then develop a patient-friendly resource for the Healthtalk website to help patients, their carers and health professionals decide whether surgery is the best option for them.

Other awards have gone to the University of Manchester, Keele University, the University of Aberdeen, and University of Leeds, for research projects exploring the impacts of MSK conditions on different aspects of well-being. Currently, musculoskeletal conditions – including arthritis and back pain – affect 18.8 million people in the UK and are the leading contributor to disability in the UK.

The research grants are the first to be awarded from the Nuffield Foundation's dedicated £12.5 million fund for research into MSK conditions. The next call for applications will be launched later in 2020.

Tim Gardam, Chief Executive of the Nuffield Foundation said, "The Nuffield Foundation is committed to improving people's lives through better understanding of the issues affecting their life chances. Together these new projects will improve our understanding of the impact of MSK conditions on both individuals and wider society. We are delighted to be partnering with Versus Arthritis to help improve the health and well-being of people living with MSK conditions by influencing future practice, policy and research."

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