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BackTrace - digital support of cross sectoral care pathways ensuring coherence and empowerment in low back pain patients


Camilla Blach Rossen

Elective Surgery Center, Research Unit, Silkeborg Regional Hospital, Denmark, DK
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Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is the most common disability worldwide (1). Each year, app. 900,000 adult struggle with LBP in Denmark. Creating numerous contacts to the healthcare system across sectors and care providers (2). As a result of increased sectoral division in the Danish healthcare system, many people in need of healthcare experience their treatment trajectory as fragmented with conflicting information. They experience to be asked the same health-related questions each time they consult a new health care professional, instead of professionals sharing their knowledge of the patient trajectory. Thus, patients struggle with the additional burden of being the primary information mediator between professionals. This dissonance causes patients to feel powerless and frustrated, experiencing a lack of empowerment (3).

Digitalisation in healthcare has the potential to support cross sectoral coherence. In reality however, the IT-systems are not designed to share the individual's data across the different sectoral IT-systems (4). Therefore, important knowledge about people with LBP is not continually shared across the professionals and may get lost.

Objective: To overcome this challenge, we have over the past two years developed the first version of a new and innovative digital solution, called BackTrace. This paper focuses on the development process of BackTrace. 

Methods: The development of BackTrace is an iterative bottom-up process where user involvement and scientific knowledge is central. BackTrace is developed by a multidisciplinary team of relevant collaborators: people with LBP, their relatives, healthcare professionals, job centre employees, researchers and IT-developers. With this diverse team, in a workshop based method, we have developed a digital solution which may facilitate integrated and person-centred trajectories.

Findings: The development has been governed by the needs of the collaborators and the contextual frames under which the professionals work. This work revealed that it is crucial for BackTrace to support:

1) sharing of all relevant data across sectors and professions.

2) rethinking of user-centricity by giving people with LBP access and the opportunity to share all relevant data with the professionals of choice.

3) presenting data from different individual records in a clear form that is understandable and applicable for professionals across sectors.

4) empowering the individual with LBP by facilitating that relevant knowledge is available, and that the individual gain more insight into their own condition.

5) good, equal and qualified dialogue between people with LBP and the health professional

These findings, have guided the works of IT-developers designing BackTrace.

Conclusion: We have succeeded in identifying and collaborating with relevant collaborators, facilitating transdisciplinary dialogue. This dialogue has through an innovative and iterative process resulted in a user-oriented digital solution which is currently being pilot tested.

Implications: The evaluation of the pilot testing will provide future direction for the research and the development of BackTrace.

Based on the thorough development of the digital BackTrace solution, adaptation to other relevant patient groups is easily available.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Health.


1. Hartvigsen et al. 2018.

2. Flachs et al. 2015.

3. Rossen et al. 2021.

4. Sundhedsdatastyrelsen. 2018.

How to Cite: Rossen CB. BackTrace - digital support of cross sectoral care pathways ensuring coherence and empowerment in low back pain patients. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):214. DOI:
Published on 04 Nov 2022.


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