Estimating the prevalence, quality of life, economic and societal impact of arthritis in Tanzania: Protocol for a mixed methods study.

Emma McIntosh (PhD), Blandina Mmbaga (MMED), Sarah Cleaveland (PhD), Iain McInnes (PhD) Kajiru Gad Kilonzo (MMED), Shadrach Dare (PhD), Stefanie J. Krauth, Richard W. Walker, Nateiya M Yongolo, Emma McIntosh,
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Musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders are one of the major causes of disability globally. A 2010 Global Burden of Disease study reported that MSK diseases account for 20% of all Years Lived with Disability (YLDs) in Low- and Middle-Income countries. This study will use mixed methods to generate new findings on the prevalence, quality of life, economic and societal impact of musculoskeletal disorders (including arthritis) in the Hai district in Tanzania.


Methods and analysis

In this mixed-methods study funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Units and Groups (Award no: 17/63/35) we will conduct quantitative, community-based (urban, peri - urban and rural) and hospital based prospective surveys, supported by rapid ethnographic assessments (REAs), in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and clinical diagnostic screening to estimate the prevalence, economic and societal impact of arthritis. A retrospective medical records baseline review at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) will also be conducted to assess prevailing documentation and management of arthritis.


Ethics and dissemination

Ethical approval has been obtained through Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUCo) Research Ethics and Review committee (CRERC) in Moshi, National Health Research Ethics Committee (NatHREC) of the National Institute for Medical research (NIMR) in Tanzania and the Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) Ethics committee at the University of Glasgow, UK (MVLS ethics project number:20018010). We will disseminate the findings in clinical, epidemiological, and economic peer reviewed journals. Other dissemination modalities include professional conferences, short reports, community leaflets, policy briefs and dissemination events to communities and various stakeholders including the Ministry of health in Tanzania.