Status ECCRE research projects: 5 completed, 8 running and 3 starting

Since awarding the first research grants in 2016, ECCRE has awarded grants to 16 research projects, including 3 projects which were accepted in 2021, covering a wide area of topics within MSK research. At the time of writing, 5 of these projects have been completed, while 8 are still running. 

The 5 completed research projects are:

  • Andreas Eklund: Chiropractic Maintenance care – cost-utility, psychological factors, and pain trajectories
  • Jan Hartvigsen: International Chiropractic Research Leadership and Capacity Building Program (CARL)
  • Richard Nicol: Development of an ICF-based assessment schedule for manual medicine. The projectwas originally proposed by Ellen Årtun, who later retired from the project. It was then completed by Richard Nicol.
  • Lise Vilstrup Holm: The effect of chiropractic treatment on infantile colic: A randomised controlled single-blind study
  • Francesca Wuytack: Development of a core outcome set for Pelvic Girdle Pain; A systematic review, qualitative interviews, and Delphi consensus study

The 8 remaining running projects are:

  • Maurits W. Van Tulder: Back Complaints in Elders (BACE): A prospective, longitudinal analysis of older people with low-back pain in chiropractic care.
  • Cecilie Krage Øverås: Pain in the spine and elsewhere - patterns and consequences.
  • Andreas Eklund: Development of a clinical stratification instrument to improve cost-effectiveness of Chiropractic Maintenance Care.
  • Sidney Rubinstein: Spinal manipulative therapy for acute low-back pain: systematic review and meta-analysis.
  • Sarah Thurøe Jensen: Growing pains in Danish children: A quantitative and qualitative description.
  • Petra Schweinhardt: Phenotyping low back pain - a prospective observational pilot study.
  • Jan Hartvigsen: CARL the Second.
  • Damian Bailey: Relationship between physical activity, low back pain and cognitive impairment. A cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of data from the Danish Twins Registry.

Cecilie Krage Øverås, Andreas Eklund, Petra Schweinhardt and Damian Bailey are alle expected to complete their projects in 2021, while COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown has forced Mauritz van Tulder, Sidney Rubinstein and Jan Hartvigsen to request extensions of the deadlines for their projects. These have been granted and the deadlines have now been extended to 2022 (Mauritz van Tulder, Sidney Rubinstein) and 2024 (Jan Hartvigsen).

Sarah Thurøe Jensen had to retire from the project Growing pains in Danish children: A quantitative and qualitative description and the project is currently on hold. The quantitative data are collected, cleansed, and categorized; the analysis for the first paper is completed and the qualitative data collection is planned. The main supervisor is now looking for a new PhD-student to complete the project.

ECCRE awards grants to 3 new projects in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic caused ECCRE to postpone the selection of research projects for grants in 2020 and applications for grants were carried over into 2021. At its meeting in May 2021, the ECCRE board awarded part funding to 3 new research projects:

  • Cecilia Bergström: Chiropractors’ experiences and views in the management of patients 55 years or older with musculoskeletal complaints.
  • Cesar Hincapie: Spinal manual therapy versus nerve root injection for lumbar radiculopathy: vanguard phase of the SALuBRITY randomised clinical trial
  • Janni MIkkonen: Clinical effectiveness of movement control exercises with and without specific breathing techniques for the treatment of chronic low back pain: An open-label pilot trial with 2- and 6-month follow-ups.

The overall purpose of Cecilia Bergströms project is to explore chiropractors’ experiences and views in the management of patients 55 years or older with MSK complaints, and to compare characteristics of chiropractors that frequently manage patients 55 years or older with MSK complaints with chiropractors who do not, across four European countries (Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden).

The findings in this project will help to reduce the paucity of evidence that currently exist regarding chiropractors’ experience and views in the management of patients 55 years or older with MSK complaints, in relation to uncertain clinical findings and comorbidities, limitations to care/co-care, counselling challenges, as well as chiropractor’s and patient’s different perspectives and expectations of care. It will also lay the foundation for future studies into effectiveness of chiropractic interventions to determine the role of chiropractors in a primary care setting for older patients suffering from MSK disorders.

Cesar Hincapie’s project proposes the SALuBRITY trial in patients with sciatica, comparing spinal manual therapy versus steroid nerve root injection in a Swiss university hospital outpatient setting. The aim is to assess outcomes important to patients such as pain, function, medication use, quality-of-life, and satisfaction using text messages and questionnaires.

The study approach involves a randomised, double sham-controlled trial design and a patient and public involvement subproject that aims to improve the research quality and relevance of the SALuBRITY trial.

The project has several innovative aspects. The SALuBRITY trial will be the: (1) first-ever direct comparison of spinal manual therapy versus nerve root injection in patients with sciatica; (2) first-ever double sham-controlled trial in the field to improve the strength of the research findings; and (3) first-ever Swiss chiropractic randomised clinical trial.

Janni MIkkonen’s project is a feasibility study aiming to develop and test a study protocol to quantify the differences in multiple persistent low back pain-related outcome measurements among patients prescribed movement control exercises with and without specific breathing techniques, to enable a full-scale study. The feasibility study will introduce and test a specific breathing technique protocol that can be easily implemented by clinicians in a healthcare setting. Specific breathing techniques are a simple, free, safe addition that can be easily applied to any type of individually tailored exercise intervention.

The next deadline for applying for a research grant is February 1st, 2022.

The relevant grant application forms for ECCRE grants can always be downloaded from the ECCRE website. Read the section Research Grant for more information.