Musculoskeletal (MSK) health is central to health, well-being, physical functioning and healthy ageing. It is a public health priority to help maintain and improve the MSK health of the population across the life-course. An important environment for supporting MSK health is the workplace.
A workplace Joint Pain Advice (JPA) service was piloted in 20 organisations of various sizes in Cornwall and London with 481 people accessing the service. A qualitative evaluation of the project was carried out in Cornwall with 24 JPA participants from 11 organisations taking part in interviews and focus groups.
Participants valued the service, the impact it had had on their physical and mental health and well-being and its effects on the management of their MSK health in the workplace. The service served the unmet need for support to self-manage MSK pain and participants found its delivery in the workplace convenient and efficient. Participants reported changing the ways in which they performed their role in the workplace and taking actions to protect their MSK health and relieve their pain. JPA participants felt more willing and better able to talk about their MSK problems with their colleagues and managers and felt more ’empowered’ to ask their manager about how to accommodate their MSK problems in the workplace.
JPA in the workplace presents a model for delivering MSK services to businesses of all sizes which warrants further evaluation to measure its effect on absenteeism and presenteeism in small, medium-sized and larger organisations.

© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.