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Back Complaints in the Elderly – Norway (BACE-N)

Project manager

Prof Margreth Grotle


Contact info




Rikke Munk Killingmo
Ørjan Nesse Vigdal

Lise Kertz

Back pain is very common among the elderly; one in three will experience it over a one-year period. Norway, as with most countries in the world, has a rapidly increasing proportion of elderly within the population.  Despite this, we still know very little about back pain and its consequences among elderly. Who seeks care for it, what problems do they have, what kind of treatment do they get, what is the expected prognosis, and why do some people have persistent problems? The BACE-N project aims to contribute with some answers to these questions.


We are part of the international BACE Consortium, conducting studies in Brazil, the Netherlands, and Norway.


In this observational cohort study, we include people over 55 years of age who visit a primary can practitioner with a new episode of back pain. Soon after their first visit, we perform a standardized examination and a comprehensive questionnaire, mapping many aspects of the person's life and back-related issues. We follow the study participants at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after inclusion, to track their back pain, disability, work-related issues and treatment both in- and outside the health care system. Several test stations in primary care clinics in Southern Norway contribute with data collection.


BACE - Part 1
BACE - Part 2
BACE - Part 3
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