Physical branch meetings are currently cancelled due to COVID-19. However there are virtual activities being run by some branches. Please contact your local branch for more information.

We hope you find the information on these pages helpful. Our team is working tirelessly to provide up to date advice in relation to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. Record numbers of people are now turning to NASS for support, and we hope to be here for everyone. Our helpline and advice service are only possible thanks to donations from people like you.

If you are able to make a donation to NASS today, we'd be so grateful.


Research Studies

This page details all of the current research studies looking for participants. Most of these studies relate to axial SpA (AS), arthritis, rheumatology and musculoskeletal conditions, although we will also share research relating to long term conditions, pain and well-being.

We also currently have an additional section on studies related to COVID-19 which we have kept separate at the bottom of this page.

Axial Spondyloarthritis studies


Grasp is a non-verbal, real-time monitoring platform from Norway. Grasp is the size of a small pebble, is soft and easily compressible, contains miniaturized sensors, time recording circuits, secure memory, long-life rechargeable batteries and is low-power Bluetooth enabled. When squeezed Grasp records with a date and time stamp the strength, frequency, and duration of the squeeze enabling the user to easily and instantly record moments of stress and anxiety, as well as pain.

You can read more about the project by downloading their leaflet or visiting the Grasp website.

The researchers are currently looking for 20 people to take part in a pilot study specifically looking how the current pandemic is affecting mental and physical health in people with axial SpA (AS). If you are interested in taking part please email Ken Garner on or call him on 020 3371 9358.

Gold Standard Time to diagnosis

NASS recently launched the consultation period on a new 4-year programme for a Gold Standard Time to Diagnosis. Find out more about the consultation and how to take part.

General rheumatology, arthritis and musculoskeletal studies

There are currently no general studies looking for participants. Studies will appear here when they are approved by NASS.

Long term conditions, pain, well-being and other studies

There are currently no other studies looking for participants. Studies will appear here when they are approved by NASS.

COVID-19 specific Studies


The information you provide will help clinicians determine the risk the infection poses to patients with rheumatological conditions. It will assist in determining whether medications for arthritis influence COVID-19 infection outcomes, and the influence of the infection on the rheumatological diseases themselves. This study is part of a large collaborative global effort to provide clarity for the rheumatological community.


University of Aberdeen

The team at the University of Aberdeen are following up people who were part of the British Society for Rheumatology biologics register in AS. This is to understand if and how people’s health has been affected by the COVID19 lockdown, their experience with services and their thoughts on their care going forward. So please look out for the invitation being posted or e-mailed (if you provided and email address). The survey itself is online although there is an option to request a paper copy to be sent. Please note that you will only be eligible and receive an email if you are already a member of the register. If you think you should have received an email but haven’t, please email or call 01224 438030 and ask for Maureen.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with axial spondyloarthritis

This is a piece of research being conducted by the team at University College Hospital London looking at the effects of the pandemic on axial SpA. It takes around 2 minutes to complete.

UCLH study

Chronic pain experiences during COVID-19

This study will provide evidence to guide how those with chronic pain can be assisted in similar situations in the future, but also highlight the importance of social interactions for either facilitating, or hindering, the pain experience to aid in pain treatment when normality resumes. The study should take no more than 25 minutes to complete.

Chronic Pain Experiences

SAA and ASIF COVID-19 & SpA patient survey

The Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) have compiled a self-reporting patient survey for people with spondyloarthritis which is now being advertising by the Axial Spondyloarthritis International Federation (ASIF). It looks at the medical experience of people with spondyloarthritis in direct relation to the virus. The survey should take around 10 – 15 minutes to complete.

SAA Survey

The COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Registry – Patient Study

There is a global collaboration asking people with rheumatic conditions including axial SpA (AS) to self report on their experiences with COVID-19. It takes around 5 minutes to complete. You can either complete the European or Global version but please do not complete both as they are part of the same study.

European Study

Global Study – do not complete if you have completed the European version

NASS is happy to share research requests but is not responsible for the content of external websites. By following any of these external links you understand that you participate in any research at your own risk and without liability to NASS.