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Psychosocial aspects of musculoskeletal disorders

Call for Papers

New Content ItemHealthcare’s reliance on biomedical and pharmaceutical interventions does not prevent suffering from musculoskeletal ailments. Increasingly, evidence-based medicine shows that a biopsychosocial approach is favored instead of opioids prescriptions and imaging referrals. Patient education, exercise, and cognitive behavioral treatments benefit those seeking care, yet how do healthcare professionals implement such interventions (when their training was based on biomedicine)?

There is a big gap between the translation of evidence in clinical evidence  - a biopsychosocial framework should integrate the biomed and psychosocial to explain and treat phenomena like cross-talk in chronic MSK pain. There is real hope that utilizing a psychosocial framework will benefit patients, so, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders enthusiastically announces this Call for Papers with anticipation.

We welcome Research Articles, front-end matter, and Study Protocols on all investigations into this field, such as bio-psychosocial risk and prognostic factors, patient education, communication, biopsychosocial pain management and/or research into contextual (placebo and nocebo) factors. Studies aiming to increase clinical tool reliability and validity in low-income/ socioeconomic settings are encouraged to submit, as well as mind-body approaches such as meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis, imagery, neurofeedback, yoga or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Please ensure manuscripts adheres to the submission guidelines for BMC-Series journals. Especially for manuscripts describing randomized trials, qualitative research, and systematic review/ meta-analysis methods, the Equator Network reporting guidelines should be followed. Kindly submit submissions to the Editorial Manager system. Please make sure you submit in Editorial Manager and not our new editorial Springer Nature article processing platform (Snapp). 

Proposals for Commentaries, Editorials, and Narrative Reviews will be considered, but editorial pre-approval is required. If you would like to inquire about a study’s suitability of a study for consideration or propose a commissioned topic, please email a pre-submission enquiry to

To submit your manuscript, please use the Editorial Manager submission system. Please indicate in the cover letter that you would like the submission to be considered for the ‘“Psychosocial aspects of musculoskeletal disorders'' Article Collection. The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2022, and articles will be published shortly after each acceptance.

Submissions focussing on a rheumatic condition, not the joint/musculoskeletal aspect, will be considered but may be transferred to BMC Rheumatology pre-acceptance.

Short reports, initial observations and data sets relevant to the collection will be considered in BMC Research Notes. This type of content will be published in BMC Research Notes and included in the final collection.

Meet the Collection Editors

Dr Markus Rupp

Markus Rupp works as an Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon at the University Medical Center Regensburg, Germany. He is head of Infection Surgery and Research Affairs at the Department of Trauma Surgery.  His clinical research interests are bone and joint infections. Markus is driven to further improve diagnostics and treatment for his patients by translation of basic research into the clinical daily life. One of his main research focus is to determine and improving psychological well-being of his patients.

Dr Anita Amorim 
Dr Anita Amorim is a Lecturer in Physiotherapy and Early Career Researcher at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include risk factors and management of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Anita completed her PhD in Health Sciences in 2018 and a one-year postdoctoral research fellowship in Public Health in 2020, both at the University of Sydney. Anita’s research vision is to improve the quality of life of people living with chronic musculoskeletal pain and reduce the global burden of this condition for patients and the healthcare system. Her research program has taken a translational approach in reducing unnecessary healthcare utilization in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain through behavioral change. With her experience in designing and conducting methodologically robust and highly impactful research, Anita has secured over $1 million in competitive research funds as Chief and Associate Investigator and published in high-quality peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Prof Bart Staal
Prof Bart Staal is a physiotherapist and human movement scientist by background and further specialized in clinical epidemiology. He obtained his PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (2003) for which he studied  the effects of a cognitive-behavior oriented graded activity program for airline workers with low back pain. Bart currently works as a professor of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation at the HAN University of Applied Sciences and as a senior research fellow at the Radboud University Medical Center, both in Nijmegen the Netherlands. His research themes include: effectiveness of physiotherapy, communication between healthcare providers and patients, and personalized care in patients with musculoskeletal disorders, Bart was an Associate Editor of BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders since 2010, section Editor of the section Rehabilitation, Physical therapy and occupational health in 2014 and is Senior Editorial Board member since 2020. 

Dr Derek Clewley
Dr. Derek Clewley is an Assistant Professor at Duke University in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Division.  His areas of research and clinical expertise are related to the management of neck pain.  He has a background in systematic review methodology as well as health services research.  Dr. Clewley teaches content related to musculoskeletal disorders. 


Dr Imran Khan Niazi
Dr Imran Khan Niazi has been working for the past 12 years as an active researcher in physical and neural rehabilitation, focusing on non-pharmacological/conservative modes of treatment to optimize the patient's rehabilitation journey and improve their quality of life. He has extensive experience working in multidisciplinary teams that include chiropractors, physiotherapists, medical doctors, engineers, and neuroscientists, with a strong patient-centered, evidence-informed approach. For further details please visit Imran’s ResearchGate or Google Scholar profile.

  1. Chronic pain and the accompanying level of disability is a healthcare crisis that reaches epidemic proportions and is now considered a world level crisis. Chronic non-specific low back pain (CNLBP) contributes...

    Authors: Antonio J. Varela and Kathryn W. Van Asselt
    Citation: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2022 23:21