Improving outcomes for children and young people with musculoskeletal pain: Study 1 Learning from Professionals

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Research | 0 comments

Chronic musculoskeletal pain is estimated to be prevalent in up to 40% of children and young people, and for some, this pain can persist into adulthood. Children and young people can experience a number of different musculoskeletal pain conditions but little is known about how their pain management may differ, or the pain beliefs driving decisions.


Our team at the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis are hoping to shed some light on children’s lived experiences of pain to improve their long-term outcomes. We want to do this by exploring similarities and differences in pain characteristics that children experience, as well as other pain influences, such as pain beliefs or behaviours. Our recent study found that children and young people with musculoskeletal conditions in specialist rheumatology clinics can experience differences in their pain management (Lee et al., 2020). One factor for these differences in pain assessment and management may be the pain beliefs that healthcare professional’s hold in relation to musculoskeletal pain.  


Why do we want to explore healthcare professional’s pain beliefs and management decisions?

To determine the most appropriate methods for pain management we first need to explore what pain beliefs, and pain assessment and management decisions healthcare professionals currently hold, and whether they believe these align with what actually occurs in everyday clinical practice. At a later stage in the project, we will be examining children’s and young peoples’ lived pain experiences in depth, such as collecting pain characteristics across time (e.g., pain intensity, number of pain locations, frequency of pain) and their own pain beliefs.

By exploring and comparing both the healthcare professional’s perspectives and the children’s and young peoples’ experiences then their health-related and pain-related outcomes can be improved.

Watch the video on this page to hear more from Danielle Mountain, a PhD researcher within the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis, who is carrying out this project, funded by the Pain Relief Foundation.

Get involved

You are welcome to take part in the questionnaire if you:

  • Are a healthcare professional based in paediatric or adolescent rheumatology (worldwide);
  • Have a role in decisions regarding patient’s management;
  • Have experience working with children or young people with chronic musculoskeletal pain;
  • Are fluent in English.

Participants are asked to complete a 15-20 minute online questionnaire using either a mobile phone, tablet, or computer. The questionnaire will use two clinical case scenarios of patients presenting with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Questions in relation to these scenarios will explore:

  • Pain beliefs
  • Personal beliefs on pain assessment priorities
  • Personal beliefs on pain management priorities
  • Whether personal beliefs align with what occurs in real-life practice

Please read the participant information sheet at the beginning of the Qualtrics questionnaire for further information and complete the consent form on the following page if you would like to take part. The questionnaire will follow after the consent form.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of the team then please contact Miss Danielle Mountain ( or her supervisors: Dr Lis Cordingley (, Dr Rebecca Lee ( or Dr Janet McDonagh (

Thank you for taking the time to fill in the survey and for your support in our project!