Research Funding for Care and Prevention


Lead Author(s): 

Edward H. Yelin, PhD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Much of the increase in the economic impact of treating musculoskeletal conditions is due to the increased prevalence and increased cost per case. As to the latter, the increase is due to increased use of surgical interventions and the expansion in the number and cost of prescription medicines.  However, research has indicated that the prevalence rate need not increase in exact proportion as the increase in the overall population. There are preventive measures that have been discovered, such as the impact of weight loss on the prevalence of many musculoskeletal conditions, and of environmental agents in several of the conditions. In addition, researchers have uncovered several behavioral interventions that reduce the impact of the conditions once they arise, such as evidence-based exercise programs and self-management. However, relatively few resources are devoted to discovering additional behavioral interventions to reduce the prevalence and impact of these diseases. In addition, research into the causes of many of the conditions, which made substantial progress in treatment over the last several decades, has been adversely affected by the decrease in Federal basic science funding. An example is the biological agents for the treatment of autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.


  • 2014

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