How Low Back Pain is Affecting Millions of Americans?

Around 80% of Americans

experience a back problem
at some point in their lives.

Research have shown that

non-white ethnic groups often receive less effective pain treatment.

People that are Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American

are not represented as frequently in low back pain research.

Few studies have assessed disparities in low back pain.

Your experience can help us bridge this gap and create better treatments

Join other Americans in this national effort

to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in chronic low back pain.



Help us increase the representation of racial and ethnic minorities in low back pain studies at UCSF.

About the online study

You are eligible for INVEST if you:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have had low back pain for three months or more
  • Identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander or Native American
Join the INVEST study and complete a short survey about your back pain and get up to $50.

Help reduce the treatment disparity for traditionally underrepresented chronic low back pain patients!

By taking part in INVEST, you will contribute to research that will help people in communities of color who, like you, suffer from chronic low back pain.

We’re in it together to find better ways of helping racial and ethnic minorities who have chronic low back pain!

Join the INVEST study

Complete a 10 minutes short survey

Take part in additional low back pain studies

INVEST will guide you to other low back pain studies to participate in

Be invited to take part in focus groups

Help us learn about low back pain disparities

The Research Team

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for the study?

It’s easy to register. This link will take you to our secure Qualtrics research page. You will be asked to provide your name, email (a simple way for us to contact you) and answer a series of questions about your low back pain.

Why do I have to sign a consent form?

Once you register, you’ll be taken to the consent page. This consent page provides you with an outline of the study and details exactly what your role will be.  It is important that you have this information to make an informed decision about participating.

What do I need to do if I participate in the study?

If you join the INVEST study, you’ll be asked to complete an initial online study survey, which takes 10 minutes.   You may also receive special invitations to participate in additional UCSF low back pain studies.  Some examples of future projects include clinical trials and online survey studies as well as participation in a focus group about your back pain.

What’s expected of me?

We hope you will be able to answer the health-related surveys and if you receive special invites from us to join additional studies, we hope you will be interested!  All of these activities will help us track how an individual’s back pain evolves over time and what treatments you may be using as a part of your normal health care.

How often do I have to take these surveys?

For INVEST you will complete an initial survey that takes 10 minutes. You might also be asked to participate in a focus group about back pain or other low back pain studies at UCSF.

Is my data safe?

Absolutely. We take this VERY seriously and do everything we can to protect your information and keep it private and secure.  The Qualtrics platform uses a state-of-the-art HIPAA compliant security system and all sensitive data is encrypted.

How will my information be kept confidential?

If information from this study is published or presented at scientific meetings, your name and other personal information will never be used or released.  This research is covered by a Certificate of Confidentiality from the National Institutes of Health. This means that the researchers cannot release or use information that may identify you in any action or suit unless you say it is okay. They also cannot provide them as evidence unless you have agreed.  This protection includes federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings.

What is my information used for?

We will only use your information for research purposes. Your survey responses will be used in grouped research analyses, and the results of these analyses may be presented at scientific conferences, published, and used to help develop new treatments to help improve the care of patients with back pain like you. These presentations and publications will never include any information that could identify you.

What about my privacy?

Protection Against Involuntary Disclosure of Your Information: To help us protect your privacy, we have applied for a Certificate of Confidentiality from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This certificate protects against compulsory legal demands, such as court orders and subpoenas, for identifying information or identifying characteristics of a research participant. The INVEST Study staff can’t be forced to disclose study information that identifies you, even if ordered by a court subpoena, in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings. The researchers will use the certificate to resist any demands for information that would identify you, except to prevent serious harm to yourself or others. We will, in all cases, take the necessary action, including reporting to authorities, to prevent serious harm to yourself or others.

Do you follow HIPAA rules?

Electronic Security and Adherence to the HIPAA Privacy Rule: The INVEST study follows the security guidelines of the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). All study data is transmitted, stored, and processed in a secure environment.

What if I have questions about the study?

If you have questions about the study before you sign up, or if you have difficulty signing up, please contact us at email or the Invest study phone number at (415) 514-8707.

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Phone: (415) 514-8707

Contact us if you have any questions