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Professor calls for research to inform patient choice

Back pain will affect 80 per cent of us at some time in our lives, says physiotherapist Nadine Foster from the University of Keele.

The key challenge for primary care researchers is to provide the evidence that will help patients make informed choices.

As newly appointed professor of musculoskeletal health in primary care, she was speaking at her inaugural lecture
at the university.

 ‘Ultimately it’s about providing good-quality evidence to support the management of patients with musculoskeletal problems,’ says Professor Foster.

She works in the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre and leads multicentre projects into back and knee pain.

Four million new referrals a year to physiotherapy in the UK put physios in a strong position to lead musculoskeletal primary care services, she adds.

Professor Foster, 39, has a first-class degree from the University of Ulster and is one of the youngest physios to be appointed to a professorship.

‘It is a lovely recognition of the contribution that our work is making to the evidence base about what treatments work best, how to better target treatment and how to support the translation of best evidence into everyday practice,’ she says.


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