The current research literature shows little about the most effective methods of dealing with this important problem, even though the cost of neck pain in North America totals billions of dollars each year and is rapidly increasing.
In 1995 the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash Associated Disorder released the first systematic review of the literature on whiplash.1 This work represents a baseline of the information on this issue. Since then, new scientific studies have been published requiring a new task force to continue and extend the work. This new task force will be working with the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Collaborative Center for Neurotrauma at Karolinska Institute in Sweden. The task force will address several factors to establish the most effective and cost effective manner of treating neck pain:
- understanding the effectiveness of each form of care;
- understanding the complications of each form of care;
- understanding the costs of each form of care;
- understanding the factors that motivate patients to choose a particular form of care.
The task force will attempt to answer each of these questions as they pertain to neck pain and associated disorders, especially arm pain and headaches, based on original research and a review of the scientific literature. The task force consists of authorities from around the world, representing multiple clinical and research disciplines that have the ability to assess the results of this scientific investigation and literature review; to develop a comprehensive set of guidelines or recommendations which could be used by clinicians and government and private insurers of health care to improve the effectiveness and reduce the costs of treating patients who present with neck pain.
The majority of the task force funding will be provided by NCMIC and the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association, with additional funded by a number of corporations form Brazil, Canada, Sweden and the U.S.
Objectives of the Task Force
- complete a systematic search and critical review of the scientific literature on neck pain and its associated disorders, including the epidemiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of neck pain;
- complete original research on the risks associated with the treatment of neck pain and associated disorders with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and manipulation of the cervical spine;
- complete original research using decision analysis to examine cost-effectiveness and patient preference for various treatment options;
- reach a formalized consensus of experts in topic areas where there is no evidence;
- combine the above results in a "best evidence synthesis," which addresses risk and prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment risks and benefits, based on the best available scientific evidence.
Members of the Task Force
Administrative Committee (will administrate all aspects of the task force.)
President: Scott Haldeman,DC,MD,PhD,FRCP(C)
Clinical professor, department of neurology, University of California, Irvine. Adjunct professor, Southern California University of Health Sciences.
Vice President: Åke Nygren,DDS, MD,PhD
Professor, Karolinska Institute, and head of the section for personal injury prevention, department of clinical neurosciences.
Scientific Secretary: J. David Cassidy, DC,PhD
Associate professor of epidemiology and medicine, department of public health sciences, University of Alberta; guest research professor, section for personal injury prevention, department of clinical neurosciences, Karolinska Institute.
Administrative Vice President: John Schubert
Accountant; consultant to the insurance, health and rehabilitation industries, with expertise in strategic thinking, disability management, outcomes research, rehabilitation programs and underwriting.
Scientific Secretariat (will complete the systematic review, original research and write the task force report.)
President: Scott Haldeman,DC,PhD, FRCP(C)
Vice President: Åke Nygren,DDS, MD,PhD
Scientific Secretary: J David Cassidy, DC,PhD
Associate professor of epidemiology, department of public health sciences, University of Alberta.
PhD candidate in epidemiology and biostatistics in the department of public health sciences at University of Toronto.
Senior biostatistician, Institute for Work and Health.
Associated professor of biostatistics, department of public health sciences, University of Toronto.
Assistant professor in residence in the department of epidemiology, school of public health, University of California at Los Angeles, and assistant professor in the department of research, Southern California University of Health Sciences.
Associate professor of medicine, University of Saskatchewan, where he also has a rheumatology clinical practice in the department of internal medicine.
Director, Occupational and Industrial Orthopaedic Center, Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York University Medical Center.
Advisory Board members (acts as an expert resource for the scientific secretariat and participates in the formulation of the conclusions and recommendations based on the "best evidence synthesis.")
Research fellow, Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Professor and director, Newcastle Bone and Joint Institute, University of Newcastle, Australia.
Professor of medicine, University of Toronto.
Professor, department of experimental physiopathology, school of medicine São Paulo University, Brazil
Department of orthopedic surgery, Stanford University
Professor of neurology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Professor of health administration and policy, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, U.S.
Professor of epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Professor of epidemiology, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
Professor, department of orthopedics, Dartmouth Medical School.
Gabrielle van der Velde, DC
Graduate student member.
Department of health policy, management and evaluation, University of Toronto.
- Quebec Task Force Rewrites Whiplash Protocols. Dynamic Chiropractic, June 5, 1995. http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/13/12/28.html