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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Feb 2020 - 14 Feb 2020

Human Studies

2020 Feb 11

BMC Fam Pract



Stratified primary care versus non-stratified care for musculoskeletal pain: qualitative findings from the STarT MSK feasibility and pilot cluster randomized controlled trial.


Saunders B, Hill JC, Foster NE, Cooper V, Protheroe J, Chudyk A, Chew-Graham C, Bartlam B
BMC Fam Pract. 2020 Feb 11; 21(1):31.
PMID: 32046656.


Stratified care involves subgrouping patients based on key characteristics, e.g. prognostic risk, and matching these subgroups to appropriate early treatment options. The STarT MSK feasibility and pilot cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) examined the feasibility of a future main trial and of delivering prognostic stratified primary care for patients with musculoskeletal pain. The pilot RCT was conducted in 8 UK general practices (4 stratified care; 4 usual care) with 524 patients. GPs in stratified care practices were asked to use i) the Keele STarT MSK development tool for risk-stratification and ii) matched treatment options for patients at low-, medium- and high-risk of persistent pain. This paper reports on a nested qualitative study exploring the feasibility of delivering stratified care ahead of the main trial.