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Professor Martin Underwood

Martin Underwood


Director Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, Professor of Primary Care Research


Clinical Trials Unit
University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 574664



Musculskeletal disorders Primary Care


Professor Underwood trained in Manchester. After GP training in Carlisle he worked for 10 years as a full time general practitioner, initially in Lusaka and subsequently in Manchester. He started his academic career in 1995, initially with the MRC General Practice Research Framework and subsequently at Barts and The London Medical School. He joined Warwick Medical School in 2007. He works as general practitioner in central Coventry for the Sky Blue Medical Group. Professor Underwood has established a substantial track record of community based research into the improved diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders, particularly back pain and osteoarthritis. He has completed large trials of exercise and manipulation for low back pain, (UK BEAM) and of anti-inflammatory ointments for knee pain (TOIB). Professor Underwood is chief investigator on a current trial of exercise for the treatment of depression in older people living in residential accommodation (OPERA). This work is part of the portfolio of a trial run by Warwick Clinical Trials Unit. Professor Underwoods other work has explored the epidemiology of chronic pain and the beliefs and expectations around the diagnosis and treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain from both the patients and the practitioners perspective. Professor Underwood has worked on the development of NICE guidelines for both osteoarthritis and back pain.


  • NIHR HTA Application - (CORKA) via Dr Karen Barker Oxford, Funded by: National Institute for Health Research (DoH), Project Start Date: 01/01/2014 Project End Date: 31/03/2018
  • Fellowship Scheme Support, Funded by: University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Project Start Date: 01/03/2015 Project End Date: 28/02/2017

    View all Research Projects


  • Underwood M,Ashby D, Cross P, Hennessy E, Letley L, Martin J, et al; on behalf of the TOIB study team. (2007) 'Advice to use topical or oral ibuprofen for chronic knee pain in older people: randomised controlled trial and patient preference study. BMJ 2007' BMJ [article]
  • Carnes D, Anwer Y, Underwood M, Harding G, Parsons S; on behalf of the TOIB study team (2007) 'Influences on older people's decision making regarding choice of topical or oral NSAIDs for knee pain: qualitative study.' BMJ [article]
  • Underwood M (2006) 'Diagnosis and management of gout', British Medical Journal, 1315 - 1319, Vol 332 [Review] [view]
  • UK BEAM Trial TEAM (Underwood M) (2004) 'UK Back pain Exercise And Manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care' BMJ 229 1377 - 1381 [article]
  • UK BEAM trial Team (Underwood M) (2004) 'UK Back pain Exercise And Manipulation (UKBEAM) randomised trial: cost-effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care' BMJ 229 1381 - 1385 [article]

View all Publications



  • Understanding and measuring chronic musculoskeletal pain in the community using self completed pain drawings. , Date of Completion: 2006
  • Family planning among South Asian women in the UK, Date of Completion: 2004
  • What influences primary care patients? decision making about care seeking and primary care practitioners? decision making about care delivery for chronic musculoskeletal pain?
  • How should the results of Back Pain trials be reported?
  • Developing a patient-centred outcome for studies of chronic fatigue / myalgic encephalomyalgia
  • The relationship between psychosocial distress and oral health

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My Profile last updated: 20/03/2015