Intended for healthcare professionals


Treatment of knee pain in primary care

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 09 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:981

Pharmacists and physiotherapists need to be a part of the team

  1. Carmel M Hughes, professor of primary care pharmacy and Cochrane fellow (,
  2. Chris M Bleakley, physiotherapist and research associate2
  1. 1School of Pharmacy, Queen's University, Belfast BT9 7BL
  2. 2Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB

In the United Kingdom, general practitioners have traditionally been seen as the key players in primary care delivery, with support from a multidisciplinary team. As primary care extends its remit into areas such as minor surgery, team members are likely to come from diverse health disciplines. Recent studies show that patients presenting to primary care with knee pain receive little information on pain management, rehabilitation,1 or use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and few are referred to specialist services.2 In this week's BMJ, a trial by Hay and colleagues assesses the impact of pharmacy and physiotherapy on the management of older people with pain or stiffness of one or both knees in primary care.3

The trial compared three interventions: enhanced pharmacy review (pharmacological management in accordance with an algorithm), community physiotherapy (advice about activity and pacing and an individualised …

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