Per Kjaer’s research has focused on neck and low back pain with particular emphasis on spinal pain epidemiology and neck pain characteristics, imaging findings (including Modic changes) drawing on his expertise in MRI, the use of database registries, wireless motion sensor systems, and the conduct of clinical trials. In the search for biological causes and risk factors of low back pain, Per Kjaer has established, led and managed the longitudinal cohort study called `Backs on Funen´ since 2000 with regular time-series re-measurement. The reporting of the results from this project is progressing and has included two PhD projects on MRI findings, another on genetic risk factors for early degeneration, and another on the course of low back pain in adults.
For more than 10 years, Per Kjaer has prioritised leading and/or participating in the challenging task of creating several clinical guidelines for the profession’s clinical community, for which he has received both acknowledgement and awards. Although these very time-consuming tasks have reduced the time he has had to work on other academic publications, they have ensured his familiarity with the literature associated with back and neck pain and established Per Kjaer’s profile as someone who can help link research outcomes with clinical practice. He has prioritised these translational activities because without bridge-building between the scientific and clinical communities, the potential for evidence-based care would not be realised.
Per Kjaer’s dedication to a multidisciplinary approach to research and teaching is evidenced by his request to locate his previous position as Associate Professor in the Research Unit for Clinical Biomechanics, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southern Denmark to deliberately nurture research interests and debates across the physiotherapy and chiropractic disciplines. This work has now been expanded with his appointment as a professor, with main responsibilities for establishing collaborative research network across SDU and UCL within the area of back and neck pain as well as facilitating the implementation of research findings in the institutions’ educational programmes. Per Kjaer’s personality is well-suited to creating bridges between apparently opposing discipline-embedded views or interests. His manner is calm and considerate of others, being a good listener, motivator and facilitator with a genuine interest in helping others to shine. He actively supports students from several disciplines – regardless of whether or not he has a formal supervisory relationship with them - as they know that he will be willing to provide guidance or act as a sounding board for their ideas or concerns.
Most important publications
Kjaer P, Leboeuf-Yde C, Korsholm L, Sorensen JS, Bendix T (2005) Magnetic resonance imaging and low back pain in adults: A diagnostic imaging study of 40-year-old men and women. Spine 30:1173-1180. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000162396.97739.76
Kjaer P, Korsholm L, Bendix T, Sorensen JS, Leboeuf-Yde C (2006) Modic changes and their associations with clinical findings. European Spine Journal 15:1312-1319. doi: 10.1007/s00586-006-0185-x
Kjaer P, Bendix T, Sorensen JS, Korsholm L, Leboeuf-Yde C (2007) Are MRI-defined fat infiltrations in the multifidus muscles associated with low back pain? BMC Med 5. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-5-2
Kjaer P, Wedderkopp N, Korsholm L, Leboeuf-Yde C (2011) Prevalence and tracking of back pain from childhood to adolescence. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 12. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-12-98
22. Kent P, Kjaer P (2012) The efficacy of targeted interventions for modifiable psychosocial risk factors of persistent nonspecific low back pain - A systematic review. Manual Therapy 17:385-401. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2012.02.008
Lemeunier N, Leboeuf-Yde C, Gagey O, Wedderkopp N, Kjaer P (2016) Do number of days with low back pain and patterns of episodes of pain have similar outcomes in a biopsychosocial prediction model? Eur Spine J 25:2774-2787. doi: 10.1007/s00586-016-4531-3
Hancock MJ, Kjaer P, Kent P, Jensen RK, Jensen TS (2017) Is the Number of Different MRI Findings More Strongly Associated with Low Back Pain Than Single MRI Findings? Spine (Phila Pa 1976). doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002102
Kjaer P, Kongsted A, Hartvigsen J, Isenberg-Jorgensen A, Schiottz-Christensen B, Soborg B, Krog C, Moller CM, Halling CMB, Lauridsen HH, Hansen IR, Norregaard J, Jorgensen KJ, Hansen LV, Jakobsen M, Jensen MB, Melbye M, Duel P, Christensen SW, Povlsen TM (2017) National clinical guidelines for non-surgical treatment of patients with recent onset neck pain or cervical radiculopathy. Eur Spine J. doi: 10.1007/s00586-017-5121-8
Kjaer P, Korsholm L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Hestbaek L, Bendix T (2017) Individual courses of low back pain in adult Danes: a cohort study with 4-year and 8-year follow-up. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 18:28. doi: 10.1186/s12891-016-1377-0
Stochkendahl MJ, Kjaer P, Hartvigsen J, Kongsted A, Aaboe J, Andersen M, Andersen MO, Fournier G, Hojgaard B, Jensen MB, Jensen LD, Karbo T, Kirkeskov L, Melbye M, Morsel-Carlsen L, Nordsteen J, Palsson TS, Rasti Z, Silbye PF, Steiness MZ, Tarp S, Vaagholt M (2017) National Clinical Guidelines for non-surgical treatment of patients with recent onset low back pain or lumbar radiculopathy. Eur Spine J. doi: 10.1007/s00586-017-5099-2