ICSC Spotlight: Tightening the Knowledge Translation Gap

The Interprofessional Collaborative Spine Conference (ICSC), taking place Nov. 8-9 in Pittsburgh, Pa., will bring together members of the chiropractic, osteopathic medicine and physical therapy professions to tackle topics related to manual therapy and its use in treating low back pain and other conditions. ICSC presenter Carolina Cancelliere, DC, PhD, is a clinical epidemiologist who serves as research chair in knowledge translation for the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation and as a faculty member in health sciences at Ontario Tech University. She and her team are working to demonstrate how chiropractic care can be applied to help patients suffering from disabilities related to spinal disorders. To this end, they are developing guideline-implementation toolkits focusing on concussion, headache and lumbar spinal stenosis.

At the ICSC, Dr. Cancelliere will participate in the session “Translating Spinal Care Research into Practice” as well as the panel discussion with presenters that follows. Here she answers questions about her upcoming presentation:

Why is your topic important for today’s healthcare provider?

The care we provide to patients should improve health, avoid harm and eliminate wasteful practices. This requires current knowledge of evidence-based practices for low back pain (e.g., in the form of clinical practice guidelines). Guidelines are often cumbersome and not readily implementable in practice. Guideline implementation tools, such as care pathways, are user-friendly concise formats of information that clinicians can use at the point of care. This can help busy clinicians keep up with current knowledge and implement best practices.

What about your presentation topic may surprise people?

Some statistics suggest that worldwide we spend over $200 billion on healthcare research and 85 percent of those research dollars are wasted because the research is never put into practice. Classic studies suggest a 17-year lag between when scientists learn something significant from research and when clinicians change their patient care as a result. It may take even longer to de-implement wasteful practices! Effectively managing patients with back pain necessitates knowing about effective interventions in general, not just those that fall under our scope of practice.

How can knowing more about your presentation topic help healthcare providers more effectively treat patients?

Understanding some common barriers and facilitators of implementing evidence-based practice might help researchers develop strategies and tools to address the barriers. Awareness of available and upcoming tools may help clinicians use the current evidence to treat patients. This may also help to ease clinicians’ cognitive burden.

Are there any new developments in your topic area that make your presentation at ICSC especially relevant or timely?

The World Health Organization is developing a package of evidence-based rehabilitation interventions for a number of chronic conditions, including low back pain. This will be made available as an open-access online resource and will have different target audiences.

What practical knowledge or skills can attendees expect to take away from your presentation?

Attendees will gain a better understanding of what evidence-based practice is and learn how to access some guideline implementation tools that might help.


ICSC will bring together researchers and practitioners of the chiropractic, physical therapy and osteopathic professions to initiative a dialogue on the use of manual therapies and non-pharmacological approaches for the management of pain. The event, which takes place Nov. 8-9 in Pittsburgh, Pa., aims to help participants identify opportunities for interprofessional research and collaboration, raise awareness among the professions, and develop interprofessional care pathways. To learn more, including hotel and registration information, click here.