Evaluation of the Mobility Action Programme (MAP)

Published online: 
29 November 2021
Publication cover

As one of the leading causes of disability in New Zealand, musculoskeletal conditions generate a significant health, social and economic strain on both individual quality of life and health system costs. Research indicates that one in every four adults are affected by musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis, osteoporosis, lower back pain, and spinal disorders.

The Mobility Action Programme (MAP) is an early intervention programme for people with musculoskeletal conditions. Seventeen pilots have been located with all twenty district health boards (DHBs) of New Zealand to deliver evidence informed, community based and multidisciplinary care.

The Ministry commissioned Allen + Clarke to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the MAP, and to provide an evidence base that identifies the models and approaches that achieve the programme’s intended outcomes. The final report captures patients’ experience and outcomes from 4,783 health consumers who engaged with one of the 17 pilot programmes delivered between 2018 and 2019.  

The evaluation provides strong evidence that the MAP is an effective early intervention programme for people with MSK conditions. The MAP has resulted in health outcome gains for its participants, with the priority population groups achieving similar or better improvements in health status. Statistically significant improvements in health outcomes were identified with improvements in mobility, function and pain, and people’s ability to self-manage their conditions. While there were improvements in general physical and mental health, these were not statistically significant. Further impacts include reductions in visits to GPs and referrals to specialists. The evaluation positively supports the roll out of MAP or MAP-like programmes to support patients with early-stage musculoskeletal conditions.

Find out more about the Mobility Action Programme.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    29 November 2021
  • Citation:
    Allen + Clarke. 2021. Evaluation of the Mobility Action Programme (MAP): Cycle 2 Final Report. Wellington: Allen + Clarke.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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