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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Washington-led NIH Panel Issues Recommendations for Low-Back Pain Research

Adopting a more uniform research approach could lead to greater and faster progress for preventing and treating low-back pain, concluded a University of Washington-led task force of the National Institutes of Health.

Richard Deyo
[Photo: Dr. Richard Deyo]

Dr. Richard Deyo, affiliate professor of Health Services with the University of Washington School of Public Health, and Dr. Samuel Dworkin, emeritus professor at the University of Washington Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, co-chaired an NIH task force that recommended more consistent research standards for studies on chronic low-back pain. Dr. Deyo also is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University.

The task force was convened to come up with solutions to the challenges facing researchers of low-back pain therapies. One of the difficulties has been comparing results of previous studies because of inconsistent terminology and outcome measures. Low-back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability in the U.S., affecting 100 million adults, according to the NIH.

The NIH’s new standards were published in The Journal of Pain, The Clinical Journal of Pain, European Spine Journal, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Pain Medicine, Spine and The Spine Journal. Two other UW faculty served on the 16-member task force.