As many of you will know, I am doing my PhD (Doctor of Philosophy degree) at Keele University alongside my clinical and teaching roles. The aim of a PhD is to undertake a large research project that contributes new knowledge to your chosen field. My project is to develop a measure of adherence to exercises that are prescribed for musculoskeletal pain. The first stage of my project was to establish what is currently understood about adherence in the existing research literature. To do this I conducted a systematic review, which is where all the relevant research that has already been published is examined to try and draw conclusions about the current state of knowledge. Although it is not expected of PhD students to try and publish their research, it was suggested that I should publish my systematic review due to its importance. I submitted it to the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) and after being sent to four experts in the field for review and six months of revisions and re-submissions, it was finally published a few weeks ago. While I have published work before, I am particularly proud of this piece due to the quality of the journal it has been published in.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine is the most respected journal of sport and exercise medicine in the UK and is part of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) group, which are responsible for publishing some of the most influential research in the world. Only 11% of the original research submitted to BJSM is accepted for publication and it is the journal for 25 sports medicine and sports physiotherapy societies. So far, my piece has only been published on the BJSM website, it will be officially published in the print version of the journal soon. Despite this, the social media tracking software used by BJSM has rated my research publication in the top 5% of the 11.4 million research outputs ever tracked. It has already been tweeted about 122 times, potentially being exposed to over 175 thousand Twitter users across more than 20 countries as far afield as New Zealand. You can read the abstract (or outline) of my research here, but due to the way journals are funded, you would need to pay to access the full article unless you have a subscription as part of a university membership. I’m not suggesting you should read it! But rest assured, I and my colleagues at City Osteopaths are not only keeping up to date with the latest research to make the treatment for musculoskeletal conditions more effective, we are publishing it!