HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Monday, 23 November 2015

New project: Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) in primary care

The term MUS is used to cover a wide range of symptoms which cannot clearly be explained by a general medical condition, even after a thorough examination and any relevant investigations. A UK MUS prevalence rate of 18% of consecutive attenders to UK GP practices has been estimated, costing the UK NHS in excess of £3.1 billion per annum.

A collaborative team from HEDS, the ScHARR Mental Health Group, UCL, KCL, and Bart’s and the London will conduct a systematic review of the evidence on the clinical, cost-effectiveness and acceptability of behavioural modification interventions for MUS in primary care and community-based settings. The review will include studies of single symptoms and of functional somatic syndromes such as IBS, fibromyalgia and CFS.

We will evaluate the barriers and facilitators to effectiveness and acceptability of behavioural modification interventions for MUS from the perspective of both patients and service providers, and will seek to explain which interventions are appropriate for which MUS patients by undertaking a systematic review of the qualitative evidence and realist synthesis.  A cost-effectiveness analysis of behavioural modification interventions will also be undertaken.

This project is funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme. The final report is due to be submitted at the end of February 2017. The project team are Dr Jo Leaviss, Dr Andrew Booth, Sarah Davis, Anthea Sutton, Dr Alison Scope, Dr Jean Sanderson, Dr Kate Ren, Prof Matt Stevenson, Andrea Shippam (HEDS), Prof Glenys Parry (MHG), Dr Marta Buszewicz (UCL), Prof Rona Moss-Morris (KCL), Prof Peter White (Barts).