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‘Back Pain Seminars’ – UK meetings for healthcare professionals treating chronic back pain

by dna Medical Communications for AbbVie

Summary of work

‘Back Pain Seminars’ – UK meetings for healthcare professionals treating chronic back pain

‘Back Pain Seminars’ are transforming the way primary healthcare professionals (HCPs) assess patients with chronic back pain – addressing one of the UK's costliest health problems.1 Patients with inflammatory back pain (IBP) may wait years for referral to rheumatology,2 often due to difficulties in differentiating IBP from mechanical back pain (MBP) in primary care.3,4 Patients may therefore miss out on the accurate diagnosis required for effective care. The CPD-accredited meetings use video-based case study workshops (plus surveys, print and CD-ROM resources) to improve identification of IBP and increase appropriate referrals to secondary care.

The programme has achieved clinically meaningful improvements in patient outcomes by reaching its goals of:

a) Educating over 900 HCPs by the end of 2013
b) Doubling the number of patients referred to rheumatology clinics where meetings are held, also necessitating an increased number of specialist clinics
c) Securing external recognition from British Society of Rheumatology.

On average, 92% of delegates indicated that they were likely to completely/considerably change their clinical practice after the meeting (post-meeting survey). The impact is clear: “Back Pain Seminars have resulted in real and rapid impact on the quantity and quality of referrals to specialist clinics in our area.” Karl Gaffney, Rheumatologist, NASS


1. Breen AC et al. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2011; 12:28. 
2. Sieper J et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2009; 68: 784–788. 
3. National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (2010). Looking ahead: best practice for the care of people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
4. Jois RN et al. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2008 Sep; 47(9): 1364–6.

Judges comments

This was the judges’ unanimous choice. It was a phenomenally effective project with incredibly strong outcomes demonstrating the breadth and depth of its impact. It created a huge change in practice achieving demonstrable improvements in referral patterns.

Highly commended

Arena for Immunology - by Lucid for AbbVie


Decisions in Time - by emotive for Novo Nordisk

PEARLS medical education programme - by Havas Life Medicom for Janssen

Hear Me Now - by Munro & Forster for Janssen

View the Communiqué Awards 2014 Photos

Category Sponsors

Dr Richard White, MP PhD, Oxford PharmaGenesis - Communiqué Judge

Key dates

Entry deadline 11 March 2021
Extended entry deadline 18 March 2021
(additional fee applies)
Judging days May 2021
Awards Ceremony 1st September 2021

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243