OPEN Research Support

Casper Glissmann Nim
Medical spine unit, Spine Centre of Southern Denmark, University Hospital of Southern Denmark

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Open
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.02.2023  
Slut 31.12.2027  

Healthcare utilization pathways and clinical courses in Danish secondary care patients with spine pain: a prospective cohort study (The PATH Back study)

Short summary

Spinal pain is often managed by citizens themselves or in collaboration with a primary care physician. However, sometimes the pain does not subside. Patients can be referred to the secondary care hospital setting and enter different cross-sectoral courses, which is difficult to oversee for some patients. There is limited quantitative data on how different clinical pathways (courses) affect clinical outcomes. This study will identify different pathways and how they affect clinical outcomes.


Qualitative evidence suggests that navigating the cross-sectoral course is difficult for patients with spinal pain. However, this is primarily based on qualitative data, but there is limited quantitative evidence about the different courses and how such courses affect clinical outcomes, such as spine pain and sick leave. Some of this information can be found through the national registries, but these are incomplete and cannot be linked with patient-reported outcomes. Therefore, this study aims to identify detailed healthcare utilization pathways for patients with spinal pain referred to a hospital department and to investigate clinical courses (e.g., pain and sick leave) associated with different healthcare utilization pathways. With an improved understanding of healthcare utilization pathways and how they are affected by sociodemographic and clinical presentation, it will be possible to inform on factors related to those pathways which lead to negative clinical consequences such as sick leave or job loss.

Description of the cohort

Adult patients who are seen at the Spine Center of Southern Denmark for any assessment (i.e., surgical or medical and any spinal pain).

Data and biological material

Patient-reported outcomes sampled through weekly SMS tracking (healthcare utilization, spine pain, spine-related sick leave) and more detailed outcomes at 3 and 12 months. National registries on healthcare utilization and demographic information (National patient registry etc.) Clinical registry data from the Spine Center's database

Collaborating researchers and departments

Department of Sports Science and Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark

  • Alice Kongsted
  • Rikke Krüger Jensen
  • Chiropractic Knowledge Hub
  • Alice Kongsted
  • Rikke Krüger Jensen
  • Spine Centre of Southern Denmark, University Hospital of Southern Denmark & Department of Regional Health Research
  • Søren O'Neill