Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Programme leader(s)
R. de Bie and L. van Rhijn

Mission statement of the programme
To become an excellent research group that obtains knowledge about the occurrence, prognosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders in the transmural setting therewith improving the health and wellbeing of people with medical conditions in which musculoskeletal disorders play a major etiologic role. Furthermore, we aim to provide leadership, facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration, make new discoveries in occurrence, prognosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, and educate in the field of musculoskeletal-associated (chronic) disorders.

Description of the programme
Chronic musculoskeletal disorders occur frequently and impact on quality of life of patients, caregivers and health care financers. Research towards etiology, therapy and prognosis is performed, both at the individual as at the group level, in which a continuum between fundamental research and the clinic is essential. Research findings are incorporated into (multi)professional systematic reviews and guidelines, in accordance with the principles of evidence-based medicine. The programme also uses feedback from implementation and benchmarking research, and develops continuous electronic monitoring systems  and educational packages for relevant patient groups, therewith providing health care workers with up-to-date information about treatment and cost effectiveness.

The accent from primary diseases is shifting towards the influence of (multiple) co-morbidities influencing primary, chronic musculoskeletal diseases. More emphasis is also placed on the integration of successful counseling modalities to improve professionals’ behavioural repertoires (via in-person and online training) and also on incorporating online elements that address performance of self management behaviour (e.g. monitoring and feedback) in patients with chronic diseases.

In addition, building multidisciplinary expert networks of health professionals that form a transmural perspective deliver care in the chronically ill will be a focus of the programme.

The programme operates several publicly recognisable units: the Spine Center, the Arthrosis Clinic Maastricht, and the Centre for Evidence Based Physiotherapy. Uniquely, the programme is truly multidisciplinary in nature, clinical researchers, laboratory researchers, anatomists, epidemiologists, sports medicine, physiotherapists, orthopedic surgeons, movement scientists and behavioral scientists all work closely together.