Musculoskeletal Pain Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership Development: Determining Patient-Centered Research Priorities

For which topic were research priorities identified?

musculoskeletal pain

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is a global public health problem with increased societal burden. Increased attention has focused toward patient and other stakeholder perspectives when determining future MSK pain research priorities, however infrastructure and capacity building within the community are needed for individuals and organizations to participate in patient-centered outcomes research.

What was the objective?

to identify a top priority research topic

What was the outcome?

1 research topic

How long did the research prioritization take?

August 2016 - July 2018

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

meeting; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: monthly lunch meetings and 3 workshops, in workshop 3: a focused list of comparative effectiveness research ideas relevant to MSK pain and reflective of all stakeholder perspectives was developed through deliberation and consensus voting. Step 2: monthly lunch meetings and 5 workshops: workshop 1: review of material and introduction to literature searching methods, workshop 2: disseminating literature findings, workshop 3: formulating research questions, workshop 4: prioritizing, workshop 5: drafting a Letter of Intent for an upcoming funding opportunity

Which stakeholders took part?

21 participants: patient partners (n=6) were individuals with consistent dissatisfaction for current or past lived pain related healthcare experiences and had strong opinions for improvement, clinician partners (n=6) were treatment providers from a variety of healthcare disciplines (physical therapy, clinical psychology, family medicine) that routinely provide care for patients impacted by MSK pain conditions, research partners (n=4) were individuals affiliated with a formal research collaboration between Brooks Rehabilitation (Jacksonville, Florida) and the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida), other stakeholder entities were individuals from a state level healthcare professional organization (n=1), community health advocacy collaborative (n=1), rehabilitation education institute (n=1), family medicine residency program (n=1), national private health insurance provider (n=1).

How were stakeholders recruited?

Patient partners were primarily identified through purposive sampling and were targeted based on poor healthcare experiences. Research stakeholders were selected based on having special interest in MSK pain with expertise in the areas of clinical decision making, health services research, and education.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders not only participated but were also actively involved in the research prioritization process: They were part of an advisory board. The advisory board consisted of 3 patients, 2 clinicians, and 2 research partners. The board voted on key decisions, communicated with other potential stakeholder collaborators, and contributed intellectual perspectives during meetings and workshops. An Active Partner Group was also formed to provide stakeholders with opportunities to provide perspectives and contribute in partnership activities (e.g., lunch meetings, workshops) despite not being able to commit to specific roles and responsibilities designated for Advisory Board Group members.