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Global approach to musculoskeletal models of care

Associate Professor, Andrew Briggs, has been pivotal to the development of a global approach to the management of the ever-increasing burden of musculoskeletal health conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and back pain.

Associate Professor, Andrew Briggs.
Associate Professor, Andrew Briggs.

Associate Professor Briggs has led an international two-year project to establish a framework to develop, implement and evaluate models of care for musculoskeletal health conditions, and other non-communicable diseases.

Provide an overview of your research career including your current research interests. My research career has spanned the ‘translation continuum’. I commenced my research journey with lab-based, clinical research using a range of different technologies like electromyography and motion analysis and imaging modalities including DXA and CT. I subsequently broadened my research approach to focus more on evidence translation by working closely with policy makers and service delivery organisations to examine policy and service delivery in healthcare for non-communicable diseases.

What drew you to research as a career? I was interested in research primarily to explore clinical practice issues. My interested then broadened to how health systems operate and ways to improve service delivery at scale.

What makes a good researcher? I believe that success in research relies on developing and cultivating effective relationships with colleagues and other stakeholders so that partnerships underpin all research activities. For our team’s work, partnerships with consumers, policy makers, industry and clinicians are essential.

What project/s are you currently working on? Our team focuses on strategies to translate evidence in to policy and practice to improve policy and service capacity in musculoskeletal healthcare. For example, we are looking at ways to build workforce capacity and harnessing opportunities to integrate digital technologies into healthcare.

What challenges have you faced in your research, and how have you overcome them? There are so many challenges in research, but from a practical viewpoint, securing funding to undertake work and support salaries is one of the biggest. Working in partnership with a range of organisations where resources are pooled has been an effective strategy for our team.

What has been your biggest research success to date? One of the most pleasing recent research outcomes has been the development of an internationally endorsed framework to develop, implement and evaluate models of care for musculoskeletal health. The framework was informed by 93 experts from 30 nations and is now publicly supported by 54 organisations.

You can read more about Associate Professor Briggs’ research here.