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  • 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022
  • Project No: 538
  • Funding round: FR1

Pain that occurs across multiple parts of the body and lasts for more than three months is common. Referred to as ‘chronic widespread pain’, this type of pain can affect up to 15% of the general population. It often leads to low mood, limits what people can do, and reduces peoples’ quality of life.

A recent review of research suggested that self-management interventions can be effective for reducing the impact of chronic widespread pain. These courses often contain a mixture of physical activity guidance alongside educational and psychological support. However, this review highlighted that it is important to know more about how these interventions worked, and why they might not work for some people.

We plan to review research on peoples’ experiences of attending and taking part in similar courses to help manage their pain. Bringing together this type of research will help us understand how these types of interventions might work, and why they might be less effective for some people. We will search for studies reporting these experiences on electronic databases. Once they have been selected as matching our criteria, we will review them applying a process called ‘thematic synthesis’. In this process the studies are read together, and common ideas are identified as themes. These themes can then be used to develop new ideas for how these courses have an effect on the attendee’s pain and what they are able to do.

We will use the results of our review to support the development of interventions for chronic widespread pain, that can be widely accessed through primary care.

Amount awarded: £27,075

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

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