CSP charity co-funds three major physio research projects

CSP’s Charitable Trust and Arthritis Research UK are co-funding three major physiotherapy-related research projects at Keele University.


Ruth ten Hove: With more funds available ambitious projects can be carried out, which are more likely to have an impact on patients and practice.’

The projects are due to start this month and will each last three years. One study will examine the impact of self-referral to NHS musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy on patients, general practice and physiotherapy services.

Led by research physiotherapist Annette Bishop, it will investigate whether patients referring themselves to physiotherapy has the potential to put them in control of their healthcare and provide easy access to many of the recommended core treatments.

Senior research physio Jonathan Hill is leading a study that aims to find useful ways to implement the Arthritis Research UK Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ) in routine practice and assess its value.

This short questionnaire allows people with MSK conditions to report their symptoms and quality of life in a standardised way.

Meanwhile Ross Wilkie, a physiotherapy research fellow, will head a study that makes use of the primary care electronic health record and patient collected data. The aim is to develop a system that can describe the status of MSK health within the UK, and monitor variations over time and between different geographical and other defined populations.

Joint funding approach

These are just three projects through which the CSP Charitable Trust supports members each year to carry out a broad range of research related to physiotherapy.

More than £200,000 is available across the award schemes this year, but the amount of annual funding available varies.

Over recent years, the trust has had successful joint funding arrangements for some of its research schemes with charities including Action Medical Research for children, Arthritis Research UK and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Ruth ten Hove, head of research and development at the CSP said: ‘The CSP has been very supportive of this joint funding approach.

‘We see it as a good way to add value to the research we fund, and it allows a larger award to be made. With more funds available more ambitious projects can be carried out, which are more likely to have an impact on patients and practice.’

Raising the profile of physio research

Ian Wellwood, who chairs the trust’s scientific advisory panel, has taken part in the project review and selection process in all of the joint funding schemes, and said: “Co-funding has been a learning experience for the Charitable Trust.

‘Many of the charities with which we have matched-funding arrangements are considerably larger, with bigger budgets and can draw on very experienced scientific experts for their review process.

‘So it’s been great in raising the profiles of the CSP Charitable Trust and physiotherapy researchers in the medical research community.’

The trust aims to continue the co-funding approach and will consider further collaborations with other charities where common goals can be identified and there is potential for mutual benefit. Suggestions for collaborations can be sent to Ruth ten Hove at tenhover@csp.org.uk


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