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  • 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016
  • Project No: 252
  • Funding round: FR 9
  • Child health Musculoskeletal

Bodily pain such as back, shoulder and knee pain are common in adults, and lead to time off work and GP visits. Such conditions often last for many years; over 80% of adults seeing their GP about back pain report having had it for a long time. It is therefore difficult to find out what causes people to have these problems in the first place. Surveys show that up to 40% of children report bodily pain during any one month, so this may be the start of long-term problems. However, there are few studies of children visiting their doctor about bodily pain, and none in the UK, so we know little about who gets persistent pain and who recovers quickly. Finding out more about bodily pain in children may help to find out what causes long-term problems, and hopefully how to prevent them.

As there are few studies of bodily pain in children in primary care, we also know little about how to do such studies, e.g. about inviting children (and their care-givers) to take part, and collecting information about pain and its impact on their life, although we can learn from studies of children with other diseases, and studies of pain in adults.

We therefore intend to test a way of inviting children to take part in such a study, and ways of collecting information from them. We plan to invite around 170 children to take part in the study, and hope that up to 50 of them will agree. A research nurse will visit children to ask questions about their pain and related issues. We then plan to apply for a grant (separate to this application) to carry out a larger long-term study in children visiting their GP with bodily pain.

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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