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S10: NIH Pain Consortium - Standards for Research on Chronic Low Back Pain

13:30 - 14:30, Tuttle, Terrace Level

Partap Khalsa (1), Anthony Delitto (2)

(1): National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), United States   

(2): University of Pittsburg, United States



A critical issue for advancing research on chronic low back pain (cLBP) is the challenge of comparing results from the many classes of interventions. NIH Pain Consortium workshops on cLBP noted that prior clinical studies have often used variable criteria for determining inclusion/exclusion, varying case definitions for LBP, and inconsistent baseline assessments, stratification criteria, and outcome measures. Hence, it has been challenging to compare studies of similar or competing interventions, replicate findings, pool data from multiple studies, resolve conflicting conclusions, develop multidisciplinary consensus, or even achieve consensus within a single discipline regarding interpretation of findings. A key recommendation from the NIH workshops on how to advance cLBP research was to establish research standards on cLBP. The NIH Pain Consortium convened a Research Task Force that, through a series of meetings, has crafted a set of research standards that includes the following:  1) definition of cLBP; 2) classification of cLBP by level of impact; 3) minimum dataset for NIH supported cLBP research comprising assessment of: medical history, physical examination, diagnostic testing, self-report of functional status, psychosocial factors, and mood disturbance; 4) supplemental data for specific situations; 5) outcome recommendations; and 6) recommendations for research on the proposed standards. These research standards will be required by the NIH for future research grant applications submitted on cLBP.