Research Projects
Effectiveness of Routine Measurement of Health-Related Quality of Life in Improving the Outcomes of Patients with Musculoskeletal Problems – A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Objective and Significance:

The aim of this trial is to find out whether routine measurement and reporting of a patient’s EQ-5D-5L HRQOL data using an electronic platform can improve HRQOL and pain in patients with chronic knee or back problems in primary care. The objectives are to promote more effective and patientcentered care of chronic MS problems, to overcome implementation barriers by using modern information technology to collect and generate a patient-reported outcomes on HRQOL, and to support the integration of HRQOL evaluation into routine care.

Research Plan and Methodology:

This is a multi-center prospective cluster-randomised controlled trial set in six public primary care clinics in Hong Kong. At the intervention clinics, subjects will complete an electronic EQ-5D-5L at recruitment and at each clinic follow-up over 12 months. A report of the patient’s longitudinal EQ-5D5L data will be provided to the doctor. Subjects in the control clinics will receive care as usual. All subjects will complete the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), a 10-point Pain Rating Scale (PRS), and a structured questionnaire to collect sociodemographic information and data on morbidity and service utilisation at recruitment at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. Primary outcome is the change in WOMAC total score. Secondary outcomes are change in pain, other patient-reported outcome scores and doctor-rated severity of disease. Group differences in the changes in WOMAC and other outcome scores over time will be analysed using generalised estimating equation model with an intention-to-treat principle.

Prof CLK Lam, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care


For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.