Timing of evidence-based non-surgical interventions as part of multimodal treatment guidelines for the management of cervical radiculopathy: a Delphi study protocol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • Fysio-Experts
  • Tufts University


Introduction: Cervical radiculopathy (CR) is a clinical condition whereby motor, reflex and/or sensory changes such as radicular pain, paraesthaesia or numbness can exist. Conservative management is a preferred first treatment option as the risk–benefit ratio for surgery is less favourable. Systematic reviews and treatment guidelines gather evidence on the effectiveness of non-surgical management of patients with CR from randomised controlled trials, which do not consider the natural course of recovery to modify the management strategy accordingly. The aim of this study is to establish consensus on effective non-surgical treatment modalities for patients in different stages (acute, subacute and chronic) of CR, using the Delphi method approach.

Methods and analysis: Through an iterative multistage process, experts within the field will rate their agreement with a list of proposed treatment modalities and suggest any missing treatment modalities during each round. Agreement will be measured using a five-point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics will be used to measure agreement (median, IQR and percentage of agreement). Consensus criteria will be defined a priori for each round. Data analysis at the end of round three will produce a consensus list of effective treatment modalities for the management of patients with CR in different stages of recovery.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval has been granted from the University of Birmingham ethics committee under ERN_20-1121. The study findings will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal and to relevant conferences for dissemination of the study results.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere043021
JournalBMJ open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021


  • musculoskeletal disorders, neurological pain, spine, ultrasonography, ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas