MAmMOTH: MAintaining MusculOskeleTal Health study

Fibromyalgia has been identified as a research priority by Versus Arthritis. We have previously shown short and long-term effectiveness (determined by patient global assessment of their condition) of CBT delivered by telephone (tCBT) for chronic widespread pain (CWP), the cardinal feature of fibromyalgia. We have now developed statistical models which predict the future development of CWP sufficiently well to make prevention studies possible. We therefore hypothesise that, amongst patients identified as being at high risk of developing CWP, a short course of tCBT will reduce the risk of its development. We plan a two-arm randomised controlled trial testing a short course of tCBT against usual care. Subjects will be eligible if they are evaluated as at ‘high risk’ of developing CWP, namely have had a primary care consultation with regional pain and at least two of: a maladaptive behavioural response to illness, a high number of somatic symptoms and/or sleep disturbance. If successful this study would provide general practitioners with an intervention option to reduce the risk of CWP development. This will be the first such trial of which we are aware, internationally, to attempt to prevent the onset of CWP.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Paul McNamee and Huey Chong

External Collaborators: G MacFarlane, G Jones (Other Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen), N Basu (School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen), M Artus, J McBeth (Keele University), S Kean (University of Glasgow), K Lovell, P Keeley (University of Manchester), P Hannaford (Department of General Practice & Primary Care, University of Aberdeen), G Prescott (Medical Statistics Team, University of Aberdeen) and J. Norrie (CHART, University of Aberdeen).

The trial is registered with - NCT02668003.




MacFarlane, G., Beasley, M., Prescott, G., McNamee, P., Keeley, P., Artus, M., McBeth, J., Hannaford, P., Jones, G. T., Basu, N., Norrie, J. and Lovell, K. (2016) 'The Maintaining Musculoskeletal Health (MAmMOTH) Study' [protocol], BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 17(1), 179.

Macfarlane, G. J., Beasley, M., Scott, N., Chong, H.McNamee, P., McBeth, J., Basu, N., Hannaford, P. C., Jones, G. T., Keeley, P., Prescott, G. J. and Lovell, K. (2021) 'Maintaining musculoskeletal health using a behavioural therapy approach: a population-based randomised controlled trial (the MAmMOTH Study)', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, [Epub ahead of print].