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A very successful CARLoquium 2021

The Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership (CARL) was created in 2016 to identify, nurture and support emerging researchers focused on chiropractic. The CARL II Fellows, who are all early career researchers, recently ran a very successful virtual conference for the chiropractic community and everyone interested in musculoskeletal or chiropractic research. CARLoquium 2021 took place over two days at the beginning of March, featuring three keynote speakers, 108 virtual poster presentations and delegates from 14 countries that met at simultaneous global time zones in the virtual world of Virbela.

Dr Christina Termini, University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, presented The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career researchers: channelling optimism amidst challenging circumstances. She discussed mechanisms by which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted research activities, how these alterations may have influenced early career researchers, and how the local and far-reaching research community can support early career researchers as they navigate these challenging circumstances.

Dr Stephani Sutherland, freelance science journalist, neuroscientist and all-round communicator gave a presentation on COVID-19 and the nervous system. Her talk focused on what we know so far about how COVID affects the nervous system, giving several neurological symptoms such as loss of smell, mental distress, fatigue but also pain relief in some chronic pain patients during infection.

Professor Mark Hancock, Professor of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Science, Macquarie University, spoke about Evidence informed diagnosis of low back pain, covering evidence related to the diagnosis and classification of low back pain and discussing how this can be used to guide clinical practice in a useful way.

The virtual poster hall displayed a total of 108 high level quality research submissions covering a range of topics which promise an exciting future for chiropractic research within musculoskeletal healthcare.

Virtual conferences are not the same as in-person conferences, but still have the advantage of being cost-effective, with a global reach, from the convenience of your own home, enabling more people to participate. This was a great opportunity to share research and meet up with colleagues in the challenging times the COVID pandemic has given us. Even though it cannot replace live personal interactions, the feedback given on the CARLoquium was very positive. As one of the participants stated: “The world was virtual, but the experience was real!” Time will tell if the CARLoquium success will be repeated in the future, but conventional conferences may nevertheless need to pivot to a new normal.

Poster awards:

Best protocol poster

Avatar of winner of best protocol

1st prize Cesar Hincapié – Spinal manual therapy versus nerve root injection for lumbar radiculopathy: vanguard phase of the SALuBRITY randomised clinical trial

2nd prize Peter Emary – The association of chiropractic integration in an Ontario Community Health Centre with prescription opioid use for chronic non-cancer pain: a mixed methods study protocol

3rd prize Melanie Häusler – Association of a clinical journal club with knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour of evidence-based practice among chiropractic students: a before-and-after pilot study


Best published work poster

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1st prize Michael Meier – Fear avoidance beliefs limit lumbar spine flexion during object lifting in pain-free adults – A protective strategy with negative consequences?

2nd prize Paul Nolet – Exposure to a motor vehicle collision and the risk of future back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis

3rd prize Christopher A Malaya – Immediate impact of extremity manipulation on dual task performance: a randomized, crossover clinical trial

Best unpublished work poster

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1st prize Rikke Krüger Jensen – The development in surgery rates for lumbar spinal stenosis in Denmark between 2002 and 2018: A retrospective registry-based cohort study

2nd prize Malin Mühlemann – Descriptive epidemiology and costs of chiropractic care in Switzerland: a nationwide health insurance database analysis

3rd prize Joel Carmichael – Feasibility and initial efficacy of a multimodal swelling intervention after total knee arthroplasty: a pilot study with cohort comparison


Best student poster

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1st prize Maarten van Ittersum – Data mining subgroups of low back pain patients

2nd prize Stine Haugaard Clausen – Prognostic Factors Of Hip Replacement During A 2-Year Period In Participants Enrolled In Supervised Education And Exercise Therapy: A Prognostic Study Of 3,657 Participants With Hip Osteoarthritis

3rd prize Simon Dyrløv Madsen – Low Back Pain Management by Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and General Practitioners: a prospective survey in primary care

Best Early Career Researcher poster

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1st prize Léonie Hofstetter – Musculoskeletal health care at a Swiss specialized outpatient hospital chiropractic polyclinic in 2019: a health services research study

2nd prize Mette Sørensen & Nina Engmark – Are chiropractors’ characteristics associated with the number of referred patients from general practitioners? A cross-sectional study of Danish chiropractors

3rd prize Melissa Corso – Are non-pharmacological interventions delivered through synchronous telehealth effective and safe for the management of patients with musculoskeletal conditions? A systematic rapid review