Musculoskeletal Health and Access to Care

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, such as low back pain, are a significant worldwide population health challenge. MSK health is interconnected to physical, psychological, and social factors, thus understanding causes and management of MSK conditions often requires taking a broad, interdisciplinary perspective.

A significant portion of research projects under the Musculoskeletal Health and Access to Care (MHAC) research group have a focus on chronic back pain and access to non-pharmacological management and services. MSK conditions, including chronic back pain, impair quality of life, and place economic burden on individuals, communities, and the health care system.

Access is a multidimensional concept that can be defined as the opportunity to have health care needs fulfilled. (Levesque et al., 2013) This includes the opportunity to reach and obtain appropriate health care services from situations of need, perceived need, as well as health care seeking, reaching, and utilizing. Access to health care can be impacted by factors related to health care providers, organizations, institutions and systems. 

Diverse populations experience MSK health challenges and access to care differently for a variety of reasons such as culture, where people live, and other social and economic factors. MHAC research is focused on understanding root causes, barriers, and challenges of MSK health conditions in a variety of settings and finding unique and innovative ways to improve equitable access to affordable and cost-effective care.

MHAC research areas and approaches include:

  • Prevention and Management of Chronic MSK Disorders
  • Teams and Technology Approach to MSK Care
  • Health Services Research
  • Equitable Access to Health Care
  • Rural & Remote Health
  • Population Health
  • Integrated Knowledge Translation
  • Mixed Methods (qualitative and quantitative)