The CAM-Pain Study

16 May 2023

Exploring child and adolescent musculoskeletal pain: a qualitative study

This project is to find out from children and young people what it is like to have sore and painful muscles and joints. Keele University are trying to work out how children, young people and parents would like the pain to be managed and what information they would like about the pain.

They are therefore looking to recruit for this study and to qualify you must:

  • Are/have a child or young person aged 8-18 years with sore or achy muscles and joints.
  • Have visited the doctor, practice nurse, physiotherapist or occupational therapist in the past three months.

What would taking part involve?

If you/your child choose to take part, we will ask you/them to talk in an interview about experiences and views of living with sore or achy joints and muscles and visits to the doctor, practice nurse, physiotherapist or occupational therapist. Based on their/your choice, these interviews can be in person or online.

“Pain Diary”

A “pain diary” will be sent (or an online link to access the diary). This is to note experiences for around three weeks before the interview. You can choose how you tell us about thoughts and experiences in the diary, including drawings, in voice recordings or a normal written diary. You will be able to use your diary to help you remember important things about the experiences to talk about in the interview.


In the interview, we will also show some pictures of children and young people visiting their family doctor with pain, these pictures may look a bit like a comic strip. The idea is that these pictures will help you think about your own experiences of visiting the doctor, practice nurse, physiotherapist or occupational therapist for your pain, and what could make visits like this better for children and young people.

We will record the interview using an audio recorder, so we can remember all the things you tell us. We will then type this up, we will be really careful to make sure that your name and any information which might identify you (e.g. names of other people and places) are removed so that people won’t be able to tell that these are your words.

Get involved to take part in this project, please email and they will provide you with further information.

Additional information

All researchers will have undergone a DBS check and all interviews with minors will be undertaken with parents present or within eyeshot.

The study is being carried out by a research team at Keele University. The research is co-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research (grant ref NIHR203281) and Versus Arthritis.

To make sure that Keele University look after children and young people to the best of their ability. All research is looked at by an independent group of people, called a Research Ethics Committee. This study has been reviewed and given approval by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Research Ethics Committee at Keele University. The study has also been reviewed by experts, who decided to fund the project.

Contact for further information

For further information, you can contact the study team by telephone on 01782 734986 or via email: