We have a well-established and internationally recognised programme of pain research, within the Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Disease research programme.

Areas of expertise include the descriptive epidemiology of pain, lifecourse influences on the occurrence of chronic pain in adults, pain in special groups (including children, and in older age) and understanding the biological mechanism (including genetics) of pain. One of our principal aims is that the results from epidemiological studies we conduct inform patient management. We therefore also conduct randomized controlled trials and other studies of management of pain in primary and secondary care.

Some current and recent completed research includes:

Observational studies and Registers

Fibromyalgia: Optimal Management as a co-morbity to axial Spondyloarthritis (FOMAxS).  Funded by Arthritris Research UK and using the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register in axial Spondyloarthritis (BSRBR-AS)

  • Macfarlane-GJ Barnish MS, Pathan E, Martin KR, Haywood KL, Siebert S, Packham J, Atzeni F, Jones GT. Co-occurrence and characteristics of patients with axial spondyloarthritis who meet criteria for fibromyalgia: results from a UK national register. Arthritis Rheumatol 2017;69(11):2144-50
  • Macfarlane GJ, MacDOnald RIR, Pathan E, Siebert S, Gaffney K, Choy E, Packham J, Martin KR, Haywood K, Sengupta R, Atzeni F, Jones GT. Influence of co-morbid fibromyalgia on disease activity measures and response to tumour necrosis factor inhibitors in axial spondyloarthritis: results from a UK national register. Rheumatology 2018;57(11):1982-90

UK Biobank

  • Beasley M, Freidin MB, Basu N, Williams FMK, Macfarlane GJ. What is the effect of alcohol consumption on the risk of chronic widespread pain? A Mendelian randomisation study using UK Biobank. Pain. 2018 Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Beasley MJ, Macfarlane TV, Macfarlane GJ. Is alcohol consumption related to likelihood of reporting chronic widespread pain in people with stable consumption? Results from UK biobank. Pain. 2016;157(11):2552-2560.
  • Macfarlane GJ, Barnish MS, Jones GT. Persons with chronic widespread pain experience excess mortality: longitudinal results from UK Biobank and meta-analysis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017;76(11):1815-1822.

Pre-Operative Predictors of Unfavourable outcome foLlowing knee ARthroplasty (POPULAR): a prospective study to examine biological, clinical and patient-reported factors in predicting poor outcome after knee arthroplasty.  Funded by Arthritis Research UK.

Intervention Trials

ARM Study: A randomised controlled trial examining the use of exercise and rest in the initial management of forearm pain.  Funded by Arthritis Research UK.

  • Cost-utility of maintained physical activity and physiotherapy in the management of distal arm pain: an economic evaluation of data from a randomized controlled trial. Fam Pract 2018; June 6 [Epub ahead of print]

Targeted Rehabilitation to Improve Outcome after knee replacement (TRIO): a randomised controlled trial to determine amongst persons who are doing poorly in the early period post knee arthroplasty, whether intensive physiotherapy improves outcome.  Funded by Arthritis Research UK.

  • Simpson AH, Hamilton DF, Beard DJ, Barker KL, Wilton T, Hutchison JD, Tuck C, Stoddard A, Macfarlane GJ, Murray GD. Targeted rehabilitation to improve outcome after total knee replacement (TRIO): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Feb 1;15:44.

Maintaining Musculoskeletal Health (MAmMOTH) Study

  • Macfarlane GJ, Beasley M, Prescott G, McNamee P, Keeley P, Artus M, McBeth J, Hannaford P, Jones GT, Basu N, Norrie J, Lovell K. The Maintaining Musculoskeletal Health (MAmMOTH) Study: Protocol for a randomised trial of cognitive behavioural therapy versus usual care for the prevention of chronic widespread pain. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016 Apr 26;17:179.

Reviews and Guidelines

EULAR guidelines for the management of fibromyalgia. We led the working group on this topic which reported in  2016. Funded by the European League Against Rheumatism.

  • Macfarlane GJ, Kronisch C, Dean LE, Atzeni F, Häuser W, Fluß E, Choy E, Kosek E, Amris K, Branco J, Dincer F, Leino-Arjas P, Longley K, McCarthy GM, Makri S,Perrot S, Sarzi-Puttini P, Taylor A, Jones GT. EULAR revised recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017; 76(12):e54