Facing the future

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Faces of the future

VERSUS Arthritis provided an amazing opportunity for three recent graduates to take part in research into musculoskeletal (MSK) health, sport, exercise and osteoarthritis. The prestigious scheme placed graduates from allied health and nursing programmes at VERSUS Arthritis centres of research across the UK. 

I was placed on the sports scheme, based in the Botnar Research Centre at the University of Oxford, where I wrote a scoping review on the impact of cricket on health. John Hunter and Jacqueline Bennion were on the public health branch of the scheme. John worked on an internet-based project to increase exercise for patients with rheumatoid arthritis of the hand. Based in Leeds, Jacqueline was involved in an ongoing programme of work investigating the use of activity sensors for monitoring chronic conditions, with her main role collecting activity data. The scheme enhances career progression while nurturing the future faces of MSK research.  To apply for next year’s intern scheme, see here

  • Claire George, former student, University of Salford 

Nice omission

Readers might be interested to know that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft guidelines on Lyme disease. See here for more information.  

I had a tick bite in 2004, but wasn’t diagnosed for three years. My family reassured me that they had had ‘lots of ticks’ and said I would be fine. I put my symptoms down to all sorts of other causes and was only diagnosed after another family member living in another part of Dorset was diagnosed with Lyme disease. 

There is a lack of awareness about the condition in the medical professions generally. The NICE guidelines do not mention physiotherapists. 

That omission will be addressed by the charity Lyme Disease Action (LDA) in its response to the draft document. I am a trustee for LDA. See here for more information.

You might want to follow an e-learning module on Lyme disease on the Royal College of General Practitioners website, which is appropriate for all clinicians.  

  • Rachael Pope, Dorset

Care please

There is an ongoing debate between drug companies pushing statins, and the question of whether they are necessary for people who have not had a heart attack.

Please consider this when giving a summary for an old post hoc analysis funded by statin manufacturers (News in pictures, 20 September).

As physiotherapists we are dedicated to promoting exercise and healthy living, not the passive, more profitable pharmaceutical intervention for symptoms of disease – many of which we don’t understand anyway.

  • Jason Cunden, physiotherapist, West Sussex

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