Peat, G, Jordan, KP, Wilkie, R, Corp, N, van der Windt, DA, Yu, D, Narle, G and Ali, N (2022) Do recommended interventions widen or narrow inequalities in musculoskeletal health? An equity-focussed systematic review of differential effectiveness. Journal of Public Health. ISSN 1741-3842

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Background It is unclear whether seven interventions recommended by Public Health England for preventing and managing common musculoskeletal conditions reduce or widen health inequalities in adults with musculoskeletal conditions. Methods We used citation searches of Web of Science (date of 'parent publication' for each intervention to April 2021) to identify original research articles reporting subgroup or moderator analyses of intervention effects by social stratifiers defined using the PROGRESS-Plus frameworks. Randomized controlled trials, controlled before-after studies, interrupted time series, systematic reviews presenting subgroup/stratified analyses or meta-regressions, individual participant data meta-analyses and modelling studies were eligible. Two reviewers independently assessed the credibility of effect moderation claims using Instrument to assess the Credibility of Effect Moderation Analyses. A narrative approach to synthesis was used (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019140018). Results Of 1480 potentially relevant studies, seven eligible analyses of single trials and five meta-analyses were included. Among these, we found eight claims of potential differential effectiveness according to social characteristics, but none that were judged to have high credibility. Conclusions In the absence of highly credible evidence of differential effectiveness in different social groups, and given ongoing national implementation, equity concerns may be best served by investing in monitoring and action aimed at ensuring fair access to these interventions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: musculoskeletal disorders; social stratifiers; health inequalities; health outcomes; interventions; systematic review
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2022 16:30
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2022 13:44

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