Participatory research: a Priority Setting Partnership for chronic musculoskeletal pain in Denmark

Kristian D Lyng, Jesper B Larsen, Kathryn A Birnie, Jennifer Stinson, Morten S Hoegh, Thorvaldur S Palsson, Anne E Olesen, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Lars H Ehlers, Kirsten Fonager, Martin B Jensen, Hanne Würtzen, Patricia A Poulin, Gitte Handberg, Connie Ziegler, Lars B Møller, Judi Olsen, Lotte Heise, Michael S Rathleff*

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Patient and stakeholder engagements in research have increasingly gained attention in healthcare and healthcare-related research. A common and rigorous approach to establish research priorities based on input from people and stakeholders is the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership (JLA-PSP). The aim of this study was to establish research priorities for chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain by engaging with people living with chronic MSK pain, relatives to people living with chronic MSK pain, healthcare professionals (HCP), and researchers working with chronic MSK pain.

METHODS: This JLA-PSP included a nation-wide survey in Denmark, an interim prioritisation, and an online consensus building workshop. The information gained from this was the basis for developing the final list of specific research priorities within chronic MSK pain.

RESULTS: In the initial survey, 1010 respondents (91% people living with chronic MSK pain/relatives, 9% HCPs/researchers) submitted 3121 potential questions. These were summarised into 19 main themes and 36 sub-themes. In the interim prioritisation exercise, 51% people living with pain/relatives and 49% HCPs/researchers reduced the list to 33 research questions prior to the final priority setting workshop. 23 participants attended the online workshop (12 people/relatives, 10 HCPs, and 1 researcher) who reached consensus for the most important research priorities after two rounds of discussion of each question.

CONCLUSIONS: This study identified several specific research questions generated by people living with chronic MSK pain, relatives, HCPs, and researchers. The stakeholders proposed prioritization of the healthcare system's ability to support patients, focus on developing coherent pathways between sectors and education for both patients and HCP. These research questions can form the basis for future studies, funders, and be used to align research with end-users' priorities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Pain
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)402-415
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2023


  • chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • patient and public involvement
  • research priorities
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Musculoskeletal Pain/therapy
  • Humans
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Denmark
  • Health Priorities


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