Research Practices and Needs Among Spine Surgeons Worldwide

Niccole Germscheid, Jason P.Y. Cheung, Marko H. Neva, F. Cumhur Öner, Brian K. Kwon, Marcelo Valacco, Waleed Awwad, Daniel M. Sciubba, Stephen J. Lewis, Laurence D. Rhines, S. Tim Yoon, Mauro Alini, Sibylle Grad, Charles G. Fisher, Dino Samartzis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Resource allocation to research activities is challenging and there is limited evidence to justify decisions. Members of AO Spine were surveyed to understand the research practices and needs of spine surgeons worldwide. Methods: An 84-item survey was distributed to the AO Spine community in September of 2020. Respondent demographics and insights regarding research registries, training and education, mentorship, grants and financial support, and future directions were collected. Responses were anonymous and compared among regions. Results: A total of 333 spine surgeons representing all geographic regions responded; 52.3% were affiliated with an academic/university hospital, 91.0% conducted clinical research, and 60.9% had 5+ years of research experience. There was heterogeneity among research practices and needs across regions. North American respondents had more research experience (P =.023), began conducting research early on (P <.001), had an undergraduate science degree (P <.001), and were more likely to have access to a research coordinator or support staff (P =.042) compared to other regions. While all regions expressed having the same challenges in conducting research, Latin America, and Middle East/Northern Africa respondents were less encouraged to do research (P <.001). Despite regional differences, there was global support for research registries and research training and education. Conclusion: To advance spine care worldwide, spine societies should establish guidelines, conduct studies on pain management, and support predictive analytic modeling. Tailoring local/regional programs according to regional needs is advised. These results can assist spine societies in developing long-term research strategies and provide justified rationale to governments and funding agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1894-1908
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • global
  • needs assessment
  • region
  • research
  • spine
  • surgeon
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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