Assessment of the effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for soft tissue injuries (assert): an online database protocol
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Background Soft tissue injuries and tendinopathies account for large numbers of chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is popular, and effective in the management of chronic tendon conditions in the elbow, shoulder, and pain at and around the heel. Methods/Design Ethical approval was granted from the South East London Research Ethics Committee to implement a database for the Assessment of Effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Soft Tissue Injuries (ASSERT) to prospectively collect information on the effectiveness of ESWT across the UK. All participants will give informed consent. All clinicians follow a standardised method of administration of the ESWT. The primary outcome measures are validated outcome measures specific to the condition being treated. A Visual Analogue Score for pain and the EuroQol will be completed alongside the condition specific outcome tool at baseline, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months post treatment. Discussion The development of the ASSERT database will enable the evaluation of the effectiveness of ESWT for patients suffering from chronic conditions (plantar fasciopathy, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinopathy, greater trochanter pain syndrome and patellar tendinopathy). The results will aid the clinicians in the decision making process when managing these patients.