Opportunities - Alberta Back Care pathway (ABCp)

Alberta Back Care pathway (ABCp)
University of Alberta 

Background
Low back pain (LBP) is a musculoskeletal problem with massive negative impact on society. An important cause of this problem is that Canadians regularly seek LBP care from primary care physicians due to their ease of access and low cost. Unfortunately, primary care interventions for LBP patients are largely ineffective and potentially deadly. As a result, Alberta spends ~$54M/yr in low-value LBP care.

Fortunately, solutions are available. Focused patient education combined with structured exercise are first-line interventions recommended by numerous international guidelines. GLA:D Back is one such program. Developed in Denmark, GLA:D Back has been shown to reduce the pain, disability and resource usage associated with LBP.

Unfortunately, successful delivery of programs like GLA:D requires adequate time and compensation – current barriers prevent these programs from being offered in primary care. While these programs may be available outside of primary care, accessing them requires additional payment. As a result, greater than 50% of Canadians without extended health benefits (Indigenous, racialized, and newcomer Canadians) disproportionately experience low-value LBP care and its negative consequences.

To address this systemic problem, we have co-created an evidence-based, actionable intervention called Alberta Back Care pathway (ABCp). This novel intervention integrates the existing skills of family physicians (triage, reassurance, medications when appropriate) together with allied health care providers already employed by a primary care network (PCN) who we can then train to provide GLA:D Back. The result is that primary care patients experiencing LBP can now access first-line, evidence based LBP care within their own PCN at no-cost.

Roles and Responsibilities
This project is seeking a patient research partner with lived experience of navigating the Alberta health care system for treatment of LBP to join the Alberta Back Care pathway (ABCp) grant funding application and to review the project proposal for patient engagement aspects and perspective. 

If funded, patient partners will be invited to collaborate on  development and updating of the project processes and activities.

Time Commitment
If funded this project anticipates starting Spring of 2023.
Patient partner collaboration and time commitment can be discussed, however it is anticipated the time commitment will be about an hour a month.

Compensation and Reimbursement
Compensation is being offered for this opportunity as per AbSPORU guidelines.
This is an online opportunity so no direct expenses for collaborating (i.e. travel and parking) are anticipated at this time.

For more information or to apply, please connect with
Greg Kawchuk
gkawchuk@ualberta.ca