ECCRE supports 4 research projects in 2016

The European Centre for Chiropractic Research Excellence (ECCRE) has awarded grants to four research projects in 2016, following its first ever call for applications for funding from its research grant.

European researchers wanting to apply for research funds from its research pool, which was established in connection with the ECU Convention in Oslo earlier this year, showed great interest in the research grant: ECCRE received 13 applications and granted a total of 308.269 € to the four research projects selected.

The 4 research projects, which will receive funding from ECCRE, are:

Mauritz W. van Tulder and co-investigators receive 169.979 € for the project Back Complaints in Elders (BACE): A prospective, longitudinal analysis of older people with low-back pain in chiropractic care. The project aims to provide the knowledge necessary to improve our understanding for older people with low back pain in a chiropractic setting in order to provide safer and more effective care. Older patients over 55 years of age who consult a chiropractor for a new episode of low back pain will be recruited from practices in several European countries, and the data on the effects of treatment, including pain and functional status and costs of care, will be measured using validated instruments. The study is modelled after the BACE study (Back Complaints in Elders) and the results will be targeted at chiropractors and their patients in an executive summary drafted in a language, which is easy for clinicians to understand. Here, the results and implications will be explained with emphasis on the relevance for practice and patients. The results will also be disseminated in publications in international, peer-reviewed journals and through presentations at national and international meetings and presented on social media. The grant is given to Mauritz W. Van Tulder and his co-investigators on the following conditions: 1) it is part of the total funding of the research project, 2) the principal investigator shall be a chiropractic PhD student, 3) co-funding for the other budget parts shall be documented before payment can be made. The grant will be paid out in four yearly rates.

Andreas Eklund and co-investigators receive 65.500 € for the project Chiropractic Maintenance care – cost-utility, psychological factors and pain trajectories. The project will look at four objectives in connection with the preventive treatment Maintenance Care (MC): 1) Investigate if MC is cost-effective – what are the costs in relation to the improvements in self-rated health – by using an utility measure that will enable a comparison of the cost and effect on utilities to other treatments in order to define where spending a limited healthcare budget will benefit patients and society the most. 2) Explore if and how psychological factors affect the outcome of MC. This may help clinicians target MC early on towards those individuals who are most likely to benefit and improve the effect and reduce the costs. 3) Understand how MC affects LBP by investigating the trajectory of pain before and after the visit to the chiropractor to reveal if the timing of the treatment is important in order to inform us on how to deliver care plans and treatment with high effectiveness. 3) Investigate if the psychological profile can predict the overall clinical course regarding number of days with pain, pain free intervals between episodes, self-rated health and activity limitation. The information gained from such an investigation may make it possible to predict the clinical characteristics and long-term prognosis for different psychological profiles. The grant is given to Andreas Eklund and co-investigators on the following conditions: 1) it is part of the total funding of the research project, 50% for a post doc position, 2) co-funding for the rest of the budget shall be documented before payment can be made. The grant will be paid out in two yearly rates. This project has good co-funding.

Cecilie K. Øverås and co-investigators receive 48.790 € for the PhD-project Pain in the spine and elsewhere - patterns and consequences; an epidemiological study. The project will provide new insight into the frequency and patterns of co-occurring musculoskeletal pain among people reporting non-specific low back pain in observational studies of clinical and general populations through a systematic review of the existing literature. Following that, data from the HUNT study ( will be used to determine the prevalence and patterns of co-occurring musculoskeletal pain in people reporting primary pain in the low back, mid-back or neck in the Norwegian general population using latent class analysis. This will help the researchers to identify different phenotypes of pain patterns, taking the possible effect of type of gender, age, occupation and BMI into consideration. The researchers want to see if any specific pain pattern is associated with higher rates of disability pension among people with primary pain in the low back and if such an association is altered by life style factors such as obesity, physical activity, and sleep. Lastly the project aims to determine whether the number of pain sites or the pattern of pain sites in people reporting primary pain in the low back predicts later presence and location of longer lasting pain. This project has excellent co-funding.

Jan Hartvigsen and co-investigators receive 24.000 € for the International Chiropractic Research Leadership and Capacity Building Program, which will target the fact that many aspects of chiropractic practice have not been evaluated scientifically and as such chiropractors are vulnerable in a modern evidence-based health care environment, by bringing together the ten best young academics in chiropractic in a network that meets yearly at one of the three home institutions of the three mentors leading the program. Between meetings, participants will communicate online and work on collaborative research projects. The programme will help ensure that the chiropractic profession builds upon current research successes and capacity to further grow its ranks, initiatives and profile over coming years.

The next award of research funds from ECCRE will take place in 2017. The deadline for applications will be announced on the ECCRE website where interested researchers can also find further information about the criteria for being considered for a grant and application forms.