Project Outline was a 3 year project that began in February 2010. The project addresses the prevention and management of MSC’s which is neither equitable nor a priority within most EU member states.

Supported by the European Community (EC Community Action in the Field of Health 2008-2013), the project is a network of institutions, researchers and individuals in 22 organisations across 17 countries, working with and through EULAR. It is focused on raising the awareness of musculoskeletal health and harmonising the care of rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

The project was organised into a series of interrelated work packages, which were working towards creating a relevant and systematic web-based information resource that is


Work Package 4 – Musculoskeletal Health Status in Europe.
Royal Cornwall Hosptial Terliske, UK.

Led by Professor Anthony D Woolf and Dr Jo Erwin this working group has completed 15 months of work to develop harmonised information on the health, social, employment and economic impact of musculoskeletal conditions across the 27 EU Member States (EU 27).

         The results of this work include:                    

  •  A comprehensive report on the health, social, employment and economic musculoskeletal conditions across all member states.
  • An assessment tool to collect and collate information on the impact of musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Factsheets for each of the EU27 which provide the key statistics of the status of musculoskeletal health in each country.

 To read in more detail about the musculoskeletal health status in Europe and to access the outputs of Work Package 4 please click here.


Work Package 5 –  Standards of Care.
Medizinische Universitat Wien, Austria.

Led by Professor Joesf Smolen, Dr Tanja Stamm and Michaela Stoffer this working group has developed and delivered user-focused standards of care (SOC) for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) in order to harmonise treatment across Europe.

The results of this work include:

  • Standards of Care for OA and RA based on evidence and best practice.
  • A patient version of the user-focused SOC for RA and OA available in all 23 official languages of the European Union.
  • A full report addressing the Standards of Care available for those with MSC’s.

 To read in more detail about the Standards of Care and to access the outputs of Work Package 5 please click here.


Work Package 6 – Health Care Quality Indicators
Lund University, Sweden

Led by Professor Ingemar Petterson and Dr Thea Vliet Vlieland this working group has develope health care quality indicators for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These indicators are designed to monitor and evaluate the selected standards of care developed by work package 5. Piloted in four countries using an audit tool developed by the project, these health care quality indicators provide a big opportunity to get all standards measured in the same way across the EU.

To read in more detail about the Health Care Quality Indicators developed by Work Package 6 please click here.


Work Package 7 – Barriers and Facilitators to better musculoskeletal health
Diakonhjemmet Sykehus, Norway

Led by Dr Till Uhlig and Dr Rikke Moe this working group has identifie the barriers and facilitators to implement the Standards of Care and Health Care Quality Indicators in order to propose evidence based policy recommendations for the implementation of a community strategy on musculoskeletal conditions.

The results from this working group include:

  • Report on barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the Standards of Care
  • Recommendations for how to achieve better implementation of the Standards of Care.
  • Case study report of examples of good practice.

To read in more detail about the barriers and facilitators to better musculoskeletal health please click here.

At the heart of the project lies the ability to increase the political salience of reducing the burden of musculoskeletal conditions on both individuals and society.
This includes:

  • Recognising the importance of musculoskeletal health
  • Promoting the implementation of evidence based
  • strategies for management and prevention
  • Giving priority for research and educational
  • programmes which take into account health
  • inequalities
  • Keeping people at work despite their musculoskeletal
  • condition.
  • Recognising the importance of integrating musculoskeletal health policy with those of other chronic diseases as well as those relating to social, education, transportation and housing in order to initiate a reduction in interactive burden whilst encouraging comprehensive wellbeing.

In 2013 the project was handed over to EULAR, in order to create a live, long-term and relevant surveillance and information network for musculoskeletal health across Europe.  

The project was coordinated from a central office in Cornwall, UK. If you would like to contact us please click here.