Welcome to the Moving Forward project

What is Moving Forward?

The Moving Forward project aims to roll out and implement evidence from musculoskeletal research into clinical practice across Staffordshire. This evidence has been taken from the high quality research featured in the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Moving Forward Themed Review.

Themed Reviews are created by the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination Centre and feature recent research on topics of strategic importance for the UK health and social care system.

The Moving Forward project is being delivered by the Impact Accelerator Unit at Keele University, alongside the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and involved a community of clinicians, academics, commissioners and the public working together to prioritise research for implementation into local patient pathways. A parallel piece of work has co-created a public facing version of the full Moving Forward themed review.

What is Moving Forward and why is it important?

What evidence was chosen for implementation?

The Community of Practice discussed all research studies featured in the NIHR Moving Forward Themed review and prioritised them into the Top 5 by asking the following questions:

  • Is this a clinical priority?
  • Is this a commissioning priority?
  • Is this a patient priority?

1) STarT Back

Subgrouping and Targeted Treatment for low Back pain (STarT Back) – The STarT Back trial used a simple approach to match patients to treatment packages appropriate for them. This significantly decrease disability from back pain, reduces time off work and saves money by making better use of health resources

Click here for more information about STarT Back and stratified care


The Back Skills Training Trial (BeST) – a large, pragmatic randomised controlled trial that evaluated a cognitive behavioural intervention for patients with persistent, nonspecific low back pain in primary care through a structured group-based programme.

Click here for more information about BEST


The Study of Work and Pain (SWAP) -SWAP is a vocational advice intervention for employed patients with musculoskeletal conditions who consult with a First Contact Physiotherapist (FCP).

Click here for more information about the implementation of SWAP

4) ESCAPE-Pain (Group based rehabilitation for knee pain)

Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise – (ESCAPE-Pain) is an evidence-based, cost effective, group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain, that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for each participant.

Click here for more information about ESCAPE-Pain

5) IMPACT Back

The Implementation to improve Patient Care through Targeted treatment study ( IMPaCT Back) – led to STarT Back. It aimed to determine the effects of implementing risk-stratified care for low back pain in family practice on physician’s clinical behaviour, patient outcomes, and costs.

Click here for more information about the IMPaCT Back study