As researchers we spend a great deal of time initially reading around a topic and examining the published research evidence. In order to be answerable, research questions are usually very specific, as in this project where we are focussed on orthotic devices for knee instability in people who have a neuromuscular disease or central nervous system disorder. So when we get the opportunity to meet and talk with people our research is aimed at helping whenever possible we take it!
Such an opportunity was taken when we attended a really interesting meeting of the Yorkshire and Humber Muscle Group in York last Friday. When we got in touch with the group to circulate our advert for patient members to join our Steering Group they invited us along to the meeting. As well as having an opportunity to tell the group about our research we heard about the work that the group is doing in the Yorkshire and Humber region. This included reports from those providing support to people with neuromuscular conditions in the region, fund raising successes and possibilities, and advice on new self-managed funding arrangements. The meeting was hosted by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, who provide details about this group and similar ones all over the country on their website.
Some of the discussions at the meeting were a very strong reminder for us that in the context of complex neuromuscular conditions walking problems can be just one of many challenges people are dealing with. We are aware that our research is asking very focused and specific questions but the meeting has made us very mindful of the wider context in which our research question fits. This will be reflected in the discussion section of our final report.
Bloggers: Catriona McDaid and Alison Booth