ISIS is dedicated to scientific advances in interventional spine care through its continued support of research. The society has funds available for clinical research, and the ISIS Research Committee is accessible to assist with protocol development.
We have recently seen the power of multi-society collaborative efforts, in producing best-evidence consensus statements, being used for the preservation of access to various forms of spine care for our patients. The emphasis is now shifting, however, towards the reliance (by payers, health technology assessors, AHRQ, etc.) on high quality clinical outcomes research for the formulation of medical policy. These studies generally need to provide Level I, or II, evidence in order to be considered when such policy decisions are made.
ISIS strives to stimulate and promote investigations assessing the efficacy or diagnostic validity of our core interventional procedures such as: epidural steroid injections, selective nerve root blocks, sacroiliac and Z-joint procedures including RF neurotomies, and provocation/diagnostic discography. Time is running out, so it is imperative that we both complete and publish quality studies in these core areas, to the exclusion of basic science or new technologies research. It is expected that ISIS funded projects will produce peer reviewed publications displaying research findings.
Maximum research project impact will come from randomized, placebo-controlled trials (RCT), or comparative effectiveness research (CER) design. ISIS will help develop and fund research studies that are constructed in a fashion to capture the necessary pain assessments (e.g. VAS, NPR), standardized functional outcomes (e.g. Neck or Oswestry Disability Indexes, SF-36, Patient Specific Disability Questionnaire, etc.), utility (SF-6D, ODI, NDI, EQ5D, etc.), use of outside health care, and cost data. Utilizing multi-metric outcomes measures serves to optimize the scientific, clinical practice, and policy influence of these publications. Various design examples can be found in the protocols of our currently funded studies. As national registries develop, future protocols can be adapted to capture all pertinent data.
Your involvement, at this critical juncture in time, is of utmost importance. Please consider donating your time, creativity, and/or funds towards advancing the science of spine care for our patients. Inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Research award applications, policies, research resources and references, current studies, fund donation, and additional information can be found at www.spinalinjection.org
Michael DePalma, MD
Chairman, ISIS Research Committee