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OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify the priorities for joint pain research from a large general population survey and identify characteristics associated with these priorities. METHODS: A question about research priorities was developed in collaboration with the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre's Research Users' Group. The question was embedded in a postal survey to an existing cohort of adults with self-reported joint pain, aged ≥56 years, in North Staffordshire. Respondents were asked to rank their top three priorities for research. Factor mixture modelling was used to determine subgroups of priorities. RESULTS: In all, 1756 (88%) people responded to the survey. Of these, 1356 (77%) gave three priorities for research. Keeping active was rated the top priority by 38%, followed by research around joint replacement (9%) and diet/weight loss (9%). Two clusters of people were identified: 62% preferred lifestyle/self-management topics (e.g. keeping active, weight loss) and 38% preferred medical intervention topics (e.g. joint replacement, tablets). Those who preferred the medical options tended to be older and have hip or foot pain. CONCLUSION: This study has provided population data on priorities for joint pain research expressed by a large cohort of older people who report joint pain. The most popular topics for research were linked to lifestyle and self-management opportunities. Pharmaceutical and invasive interventions, despite being common topics of research, are of less importance to these respondents than non-medical topics. Specific research questions will be generated from this study with collaboration of the patient's group.

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatology (oxford)

Publication Date





2075 - 2082


Aged, Arthralgia, England, Female, Health Priorities, Humans, Life Style, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Preference, Public Opinion, Research, Self Care, Socioeconomic Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Weight Loss