The Back Complaints in the Elders, Norway (BACE-N)

The BACE-N is part of an international consortium (The Back Complaints in the Elders: BACE), which was established in 2008 in order to create standardised methodology for large cohort studies and share data on the burden of back pain in older people.

Background

Back pain represents a considerable burden worldwide and is predominantly managed in primary care. Between 2010 and 2050, the number of people aged 60 years and older will increase by 56% in developed countries, and this transition will increase the burden of chronic back disability. Most previous studies on back pain have excluded people above 60 years of age, leading to a large knowledge gap regarding the prognosis of back-related disability and pain in older people and which factors influence the transition from acute to chronic stage. Further, back pain outcomes and prognostic factors explored in the few existing studies are not selected to capture the burden and characterization of back pain in older people. Therefore, an international Consortium (BACk pain in Elders: BACE) was established in 2008 in order to create standardised methodology for large cohort studies and to share data on the burden of back pain in older people. BACE cohort studies have been established in several countries with the primary objective to establish the clinical course and burden of back pain in elderly, to identify prognostic factors for chronic back pain and disability, and to explore usual care provided in primary care.

Aims and objectives

The primary objective of the BACE-N is to establish the clinical course and burden of back pain and back-related disability in older people, to identify prognostic factors for persistent back pain and back-related disability, and to explore usual care provided in primary care.

The BACE-N project will provide new knowledge on prognosis of back-related disability and pain in elderly people who seek help in the primary healthcare, the clinical course of back pain over two follow-up years, including a thorough description of healthcare utilisation and their costs, and prognostic factors that influence good or poor prognosis for these people.

Methods

The BACE-N is a prospective observational cohort study with linked methodological studies, in which we have recruited 450 patients from general practitioners, physiotherapists and chiropractors working in primary care. The recruitment of patients with back pain seeking primary care has occurred by collaboration with a broad network of general practitioners, physiotherapists and chiropractors working in primary care. The patients responded to a comprehensive questionnaire and underwent a physical examination at baseline and have been followed by questionnaires at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after inclusion. There are several specific research questions in the BACE-N, which are registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier NCT04261309). Most of the major research questions will be addressed in the three planned PhD works. Two of the PhD candidates (Rikke Munk Killingmo and Ørjan Nesse Vigdal) have published and/or submitted several papers on the BACE-N material, and the third PhD candidate (Lise Kretz) are about to submit her first paper in her thesis. In addition, we have publications from master thesis in BACE-N. 

The BACE-N is conducted in Norway and includes an international project group, 3 PhDs, several master students, and a user representative.

Members

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