Developing an easy read, public version of Moving Forward – NIHR research themed review Physiotherapy for Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing


The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Moving Forward Themed Review shows that early access to physiotherapy, exercise, activity, and self-management advice are effective, and should be a core treatment in the management of musculoskeletal pain. This demonstrates better patient outcomes, cost savings and a reduction in the need for further investigations and treatments. It is essential that this information is accessible as possible. Our aim therefore was to create a condensed, easy read version of Moving Forward to empower physiotherapists and patients to work together to improve quality of life and manage conditions.


As part of a larger Community of Practice tasked with implementing research in the review into local care pathways, a small task and finish group (consisting of a Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) Research Adviser, a Knowledge Broker and a patient and public group) used a prioritisation exercise to identify the most relevant and practical evidence in the Themed Review. Working together, the group rewrote key evidence messages in succinct and plain language and added new sections to make the document more accessible and engaging. The draft version was further commented on by patients in General Practice, by the Moving Forwards Keele core team, the CSP research team and the NIHR Dissemination Centre team, including a patient and public representative and the research physiotherapist who wrote the original themed review.


Results: An easy-read guide on the latest physiotherapy research for musculoskeletal health and wellbeing was created and graphically designed by the NIHR Dissemination Centre to match the full Themed Review. Evidence is clearly explained and summarised, with images, diagrams, patient quotes demonstrating in context how research has directly influenced care and further signposting.

Conclusion(s): Effectively communicating latest physiotherapy evidence to a range of audiences is vital to support high quality care. Having easy access to simple, trusted information empowers both patients and physiotherapists to ask questions and facilitates discussion about care in the quickly evolving landscape of modern service transformation. Patients have a right to understand how research can help their health and wellbeing.

Cost and savings

No further data. 


Research evidence is often not communicated in simple, easy to understand language and format which can be a barrier to care. For this project, we gained the expertise of both public and physiotherapists to co-create a solution, providing a high quality, simple resource which would support and empower. This method has proved a successful way of working across organisational and professional boundaries. The resource will be rolled out online and in print across the UK by the CSP, NIHR and Keele University.

Top three learning points

No further information.

Funding acknowledgements

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for funding to implement Moving Forward