Musculoskeletal researchers working together in Norway

In November BJD Chair Tony Woolf visited Oslo, Norway and held the keynote address at the 2nd Norwegian Musculoskeletal Research Conference.

This yearly conference has rapidly developed into a natural meeting point for researchers in the field of musculoskeletal science from all parts of Norway.

It is arranged by a newly formed nationwide research network that establishes musculoskeletal science as a national health research priority and thus became the 5th field of health research that becomes a national enterprising effort among Norwegian universities, hospitals ans research institutes.

The Norwegian NAN was instrumental in facilitating this positive development and took a few years back the intitative to gather central stakeholders within musculoskeletal research and encouraged them to start on this path of working together based on the BJD vision. Several meetings were conducted and a broad mission statement was formulated that later was endorsed by all participating parties within the structure of the the Norwegian Collaborative Group of Health Research that consists of all Medical Faculties and University Hospitals in Norway. The mission statement includes emphasis on the importance of research in primary care, multidisciplinary collaboration and patient participation.

Prior to the conference Professor Woolf gave advice and exchanged ideas with the network steering group in a separate meeting that also included representatives from the Norwegian NAN (Muskel- og Skjelett Tiåret). This proved to be a very productive meeting focusing on the applicability of the values of the BJD and their implementation into real life in Norway.

In his keynote opening speech professor Woolfe gave an excellent overview of the Global Burden of Diseases-report that was published in Lancet last year, with emphasis on musculoskeletal disorders of course.

The conference was all-in-all a great success with good attendance and proved to be a very fruitful arena for research collaboration and exchange of new ideas among the researchers. As a result of Professor Woolf’s contribution, next years’ conference will be expanded with a session on advocacy and patient participation.

Jakob Lothe

Chair, Muskel- og Skjelett Tiåret i Norge