Musculoskeletal pain stakeholder engagement and partnership development: determining patient-centered research priorities

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BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is a global public health problem with increased societal burden. Increased attention has focused toward patient and other stakeholder perspectives when determining future MSK pain research priorities, however infrastructure and capacity building within the community are needed for individuals and organizations to participate in patient-centered outcomes research. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe our collaborative experiences with several MSK pain stakeholders and processes to identify a top priority research topic. METHODS: Lunch meetings and formalized workshops were used to develop infrastructure for engaging patients and other stakeholders with early capacity building for partners to identify MSK pain research ideas based on their personal experiences. Additional capacity building and engagement through literature searching further prepared partners to contribute informed decisions about MSK pain research topics and subsequent selection of an important research question. RESULTS: Several key deliverables (e.g., Governance Document, Communication Plan) were developed and completed over the course of this project to provide partnership structure. Other key deliverables included a list of preliminary comparative effectiveness research ideas ( = 8) and selection of shared decision making for MSK pain as the top priority research topic with patient partners identifying pain self-efficacy as an important outcome domain. CONCLUSIONS: Our patient partners provided the catalyst for identifying shared decision making as a high priority research topic based on a wide spectrum of stakeholder perspectives and unique experiences. Patient partners were primarily identified using a single rehabilitation health system and clinician partners were heavily weighted by physical therapists which may have introduced selection bias.

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Research Involvement and Engagement



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