Pain, rehabilitation and innovation (PROactive) theme

PROactive (Pain, Rehabilitation and Innovation) is a collaborative partnership of academics and clinicians whose research projects or topic areas are focused on a health condition where chronic pain is a common patient experience. Research interests at UWE Bristol related to chronic pain encompass both neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. 

This includes specific conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as comfort after stroke and generalised persistent pain.  The majority of PROactive members have a background in disciplines such as nursing, physiotherapy or occupational therapy.

Research focus

We aim to develop therapeutic approaches to improve treatment, rehabilitation and service delivery for the benefit of people with chronic pain and/or sensory motor impairment.

All of our projects are categorised into one of four sub-themes:

  • Therapeutic approaches and innovation (non-pharmacological ways to restore function, improve quality of life and to alleviate pain).
  • Health Services research (co-design and evaluation of ways to improve the clinical and cost-effectiveness of services).
  • Mechanisms (developing knowledge and understanding to identify targets that improve patient treatment outcomes).
  • Measurement (development of questionnaires and measures to record the psychological and physical nature of disability and the effectiveness of treatments).

We also have two cross-cutting themes:

  • Psychological/Behavioural (seeing all aspects of rehabilitation research as potentially having a psychological aspect).
  • Patient, professional and public engagement in research.

Clinical services are embedded within our research culture so that clinical observations can be developed into research projects and the findings of these projects are fed back into the clinical services. Patients appreciate having an input into developing research projects and access to cutting edge therapies. Staff members enjoy the academic and clinical challenge of designing, testing and delivering such therapies.

Current funded projects

  • Core Outcome Measurement set for complex regional PAin syndrome Clinical sTudies (COMPACT).
  • Foot and ankle impairments in stroke patients (FAiMiS).
  • Mapping a fibromyalgia self-management intervention to the behaviour change taxonomy: supporting the development of a therapy-led training package.
  • Heatable clothing to improve comfort after stroke.
  • Exploring brain networks and patient descriptions of body perception related musculoskeletal pain to discover new targets for future treatment.

Theme lead

Professor Candy McCabe.

 

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