Epidemiology for Clinicians Course 8-10th January 2020

The Epidemiology for Clinicians Course 2020 will take place over three days, 8th – 10th January 2020, at Chilworth Manor, Chilworth, Southampton, SO16 7PT.

The course is run by senior members of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, and aims to provide a broad overview of the main epidemiological principles and methods as well as to give an insight into the practical issues involved in conducting research.

For further information and an application form please contact Jane Pearce via jp@mrc.soton.ac.uk or on 02380 764052.

PREMUS conference 2019

Five members of the CMHW research team recently attended the major international PREMUS (Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders) conference in Bologna, Italy.  Delegates from Europe, Australia, North and South America, India and the Far East included both research scientists and health professionals.  The conference is held every 3 years and gave us a great opportunity for us to meet other international research groups and discuss our findings from the HEAF study, particularly with regard to musculoskeletal pain and older workers, the InSTEP study, and other CMHW work.

Our Director, Karen Walker-Bone, delivered an invited keynote speech to a packed room, looking at the effects of frailty and pre-frailty on our ability to work to older ages.  Other team members gave further presentations throughout the conference, using InSTEP and HEAF study data, including the effect of weight and musculoskeletal pain on a person’s ability to work to older ages and also the impact of caring responsibilities and a person’s health.  We are delighted to report that there was considerable interest shown in our work by our international colleagues, with scope for future collaborations.

Letter published – juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Great to have a letter published on the vocational experiences of young adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

For those with a lifetime of work ahead of them this work examines the support and planning guidance provided in finding the right first job. Better support is clearly needed for young people with rheumatic conditions to improve transition outcomes from education to work.  More information here!

National Centre of Excellence for Musculoskeletal Health and Work funding renewed

We are very excited to announce that we have led a successful collaborative application to renew the National Centre of Excellence for Musculoskeletal Health and Work for a further five years (October 2019 – September 2024)!

Versus Arthritis and the Medical Research Council have awarded us £2.2 million to continue discovering and developing cost-effective ways to reduce the burden of work disability caused by musculoskeletal conditions.  These include low back pain, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, gout and rarer conditions such as lupus, which cost an estimated 30.6 million working days to be lost each year.

Well done to everyone in the team! – we’re looking forward to continuing our collaborations and work in this very important area.

More information here…

and in the local news here…

2019 Thackrah Lecture

On 18th June, Karen Walker-Bone presented the 2019 Thackrah lecture at the Occupational Health 2019 Research, Practice and Policy Conference, held in Bristol, UK.

Her lecture entitled “Musculoskeletal disorders and work in the 21st Century: what do we know, what do we need to know and what would Charles Turner Thackrah tell us?” was very well received!  pic.twitter.com/y52zUPijPw

Grip strength results

Grip strength results from Saturday shown below – click on the picture to see it more clearly.

Males are the orange dots, females the green dots.

Thanks again to everyone who took part – how strong were you on the day?


Manual dexterity results

Manual dexterity results for the 9 hole peg test shown below – click on the picture to see it more clearly.

Red dot = dominant hand, Blue dot = wearing a glove to mimic problems with hand movement or sensation.

Thank you to everyone who took part – can you find your dots?

Science and Engineering Day 16th March 2019

We’re looking forward to the University of Southampton Science and Engineering Day taking place on Saturday 16th March 2019, 10-30am – 4.30pm on the University Campus.

Find us in Building 40 with our ‘Measure Muscle and Helping Hands’ activities.

Our ‘Measure Muscle’ activity will measure and plot your grip strength to show how muscle strength changes with age, and what we can do to try and stay healthy and active. In ‘Helping Hands’ you can test your fine movement skills against the clock, experience the difference that an illness or injury might make and see how your results compare with others across age-ranges.

We’ll post the graphs of our findings here after the event.  Hope to see you there!

Musculoskeletal problems and the risk to mental health

Our Director, Professor Karen Walker-Bone, advocates a holistic approach to managing musculoskeletal problems in the workplace – in the latest Financial Times Special Report on Health at Work (17th January 2019).

Click here to read the full article!

Public Engagement News

Many congratulations to Dr Cathy Linaker on being Highly Commended for her Public Engagement activities in 2018 in this year’s Dean’s Awards (Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton).