NICE endorses physio’s resource on spondyloarthritis

A physiotherapist has adapted a poster about spondyloarthritis into an officially recognised resource which has been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).


Carol McCrum, a consultant physiotherapist at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, produced the resource to support the NICE guideline Spondyloarthritis in over 16s: diagnosis and management.

Dr McCrum originally presented some of the information in the resource in a poster at last year’s Physio UK.

She said: ‘I was previously on a NICE guideline group that created guidelines for spondyloarthritis, so I was very keen to raise awareness among physios, about how to better recognise the condition.

‘I had the opportunity to present about it at Physio UK and created a poster and A4 leaflet copies. People kept asking for more copies and the feedback was that it was really useful.

‘I asked NICE for advice about how to disseminate it and raise awareness and they put me in touch with their endorsement team.

‘The resulting resource is a clinical guide that provides some brief decision-making support about when to be suspicious of spondylopathy and when to make a referral, as it can be diseasethat is hard to recognise.’

Dr McCrum, who works in rheumatology and orthopaedic departments, added that her aim was to produce an accessible guide to support aspects of the NICE guideline on spondyloarthritis.

Jenny Nissler, CSP Professional Adviser, said: ‘Much credit to Carol for taking the initiative, and for achieving NICE endorsement for this work.

‘The CSP also endorses it, as it is a very practical resource.’



Benefits of NICE endorsement

The NICE-endorsed resource, titled ‘Msk… Think SpA?’, outlines features clinicians should explore when assessing people with back pain or joint and tendon problems. It also suggests when it may be appropriate for clinicians to refer people to rheumatology, due to possible spondyloathritis.

Commenting on the pre-publication process, Dr McCrum said the NICE endorsement team had reviewed the content and provided valuable editorial support.

‘I would highly recommend that other physiotherapists consider submitting their work,’ she said.

‘Elaine Buchanan, a consultant physiotherapist, is editor of the National Back and Radicular Pain Pathway that was also endorsed by NICE and I’m sure other people across the profession are doing similar pieces of work that have benefited from NICE endorsement.’

She added that suitable resources might include learning modules/educational packages, decision support tools, costing tools, pathways based on NICE guidance, patient decision aids and benchmarking and audit support tools.

Author: Robert Millett

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