Duke CTSI Launches Back Pain Study in Kannapolis |  local news


When her lower back began to hurt, Shantela Carter joined Duke’s new study at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

“I chose to conduct this study because I wanted to help researchers understand how back pain begins and how it progresses,” said Carter, 48, a travel nurse who lives in Concord. “I also wanted to see the progression of my pain. Does it get worse? Is it getting better?”

The “Transitions Low Back Pain” study examines how acute back pain can become chronic back pain. The study, led by the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) in Kannapolis in collaboration with Duke Orthopedics, needs more people like Carter who have recently experienced sudden back pain with no specific cause.

Shantela Carter, right, a Concord registered nurse, is participating because she understands the importance of medical research.

Photo by Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Interested parties should call the study coordinator at 919-684-5241 or email [email protected]

Eileen Sexton of Harrisburg was the first person to enroll in Transitions at Duke Kannapolis.

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“If I can help someone else with back pain, I wanted to do it,” said Sexton, 72, who recently completed her three-month follow-up appointment. “These follow-up visits are important so researchers can see how things have changed.”

Sexton, who has retired from Atrium health administration, also participates in Duke’s Project Baseline Health Study to help future generations and keep herself active.

“Even though I’m retired, I need to keep my mind and body active,” she said. “Participating in research is a great way to do that.”

As a registered nurse, Carter said she knew the value of research to advance medicine. In addition to her participation in the back pain study, she has participated in Duke’s COVID-19 research and is a long-time member of the MURDOCK study.

“I started participating in studies to help researchers see what was going on and to help discover cures and treatments,” Carter said. “It helps, and it doesn’t take long at all.”

Back pain study

Prior to participating in the back pain study, Shantela Carter participated in Duke’s COVID-19 research and is a long-time member of the MURDOCK study.

Photo by Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Participants like Carter and Sexton play important roles in the Transitions study, said principal investigator Adam Goode, PT, DPT, Ph.D.

Duke Orthopedics partnered with the CTSI team in Kannapolis because they excel at community-based clinical research, he said.

“We want this study to be community reflective and inclusive of people from all walks of life with back pain,” said Goode, associate professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and a member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. “As we search for a deeper understanding of musculoskeletal pain, we want to know if biological factors — like physical function and inflammation, which we measure in blood — as well as psychosocial factors like sleep quality, can help predict which individuals transition to.” chronic back pain occurs.”

By helping identify who will develop chronic low back pain, studies like Transitions add knowledge and data to efforts to improve treatments for the condition, said Goode, who led the study along with investigator Kenneth Taylor, PT, DPT , Ph.D. conducts .

Carter said enrolling in the study was such a good experience that she looks forward to her follow-up appointment.

“The people at Duke Kannapolis are incredible. I love going there,” she says. “I feel like I’m making a meaningful contribution in a short amount of time.”

The Transitions Study enrolls participants in Kannapolis and Durham. Compensation is provided. To learn more, visit duke.is/nk6t5.