2021 Global Year Webinar

A Global View on Disparities in Back Pain

Date: 30 September 2021

Time: 08:00 EDT

Length: 90 minutes


Health disparity refers to a higer burden of illness experienced by one group relative to another. Usually, these groups are closely linked since social, economic, or environmental disadvantages such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, disability status, sexual orientation and location. The impact of dispartities goes beyond the individual groups and results in poor health care for a broader population. This webinar will discuss three key determinants of health disparity: sex & gender; race & ethnicity; geographic location.


Sonia Bernardes, PhD, Associate Professor, Lisbon University Institute, Portugal

Received a PhD in Social Psychology of Health (Iscte) and is currently Associate Professor with Habilitation (Agregação) in Psychology at the Department of Psychology of Iscte, where she started teaching in 1999 and the Head of the Psychology Department. She was vice-dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, vice-director of the Centre for Social Research and Intervention, director of the Master in Social Psychology of Health and Head of the Research Group Health for All (H4A).

Fascinated by the (social) mind-body relations, she has dedicated much attention to such issues in her teaching and research. Her main research interests have generally revolved around social disparities in health and the role of psychosocial influences on chronic illness adaptation processes. She has mainly explored these issues in relation to a particular health-related topic – (chronic) pain.

More specifically, her current main lines of research aim to:
(1) understand the psychosocial processes accounting for health-care professionals’ (gender and social status) biases in the assessment and treatment of a patient’s pain;
(2) investigate the role of interpersonal dynamics in pain experiences, namely, pain-related social support interactions for the promotion of functional autonomy among adults with chronic pain.  In her research she uses a wide range of quantitative (e.g., experimental), qualitative (e.g., grounded-theory) and knowledge synthesis methodologies (e.g., scoping and systematic reviews). 

Cheryl Barnabe, MD MSc FRCPC, Associate Professor, University of Calgary, Canada

Dr. Cheryl Barnabe is a Métis rheumatologist with a graduate degree in Clinical Epidemiology. She is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Barnabe’s research program, ‘Arthritis Care for Indigenous Populations’, is defining the burden of rheumatic disease afflicting the Indigenous populations of Canada, while co-developing promising health services interventions to bridge care gaps that exist. She also performs epidemiologic research in Rheumatoid Arthritis outcomes as impacted by lifestyle and environmental exposures. She is the principal investigator of the Alberta Indigenous Mentorship in Health Innovation (AIM-HI) Network, a CIHR funded program to recruit and retain Indigenous scholars in health research.

Ivan Lin, PhD, Senior Lecturer, The University of Western Australia

As a longstanding rural clinician and researcher, Dr Ivan Lin works towards improving the quality of health care and outcomes in diverse communities every day.  Dr. Lin is a senior lecturer at UWA’s Western Australian Centre for Rural Health and practices as a physiotherapist with the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service. His research is on improving the clinical effectiveness and patient experience of health care, especially Aboriginal health care. His primary areas of work are in musculoskeletal pain and clinical communication, and his work draws together collaborations between experts in Aboriginal health, musculoskeletal pain, clinical communication and research translation/quality improvement. Dr Lin has wider interests in reducing health disparities in a range of health areas in rural communities across the lifespan. He is also an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow.  Dr Lin is actively involved in rural student education and has an interest in promoting physical activity and wellness in remote and rural communities. He has lived and worked in Geraldton in WA’s north (Southern Yamaji country) for more than 20 years.  

Paulo Ferreira, PhD, Professor, University of Sydney

Professor Paulo Ferreira is a physiotherapist with a Masters degree in Sports Rehabilitation from the University of Alberta – Canada, and a PhD in management of low back pain from the University of Sydney. He is the top NHMRC Research Fellow in Australia in the Industry category and his research is widely recognized for its novelty. It bridges the gap between genetics and the environment by investigating the relationship between lifestyle factors and back pain in twins. He translates his research to help people in need in the community, particularly those suffering from chronic low back in rural Australia. 


Manasi Murthy Mittinty, MD, PhD, Lecturer, Pain Management Research Institute, Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney

Víctor is assistant professor at San Jorge University, Zaragoza where he teaches in the physiotherapy degree program in the Faculty of Health Sciences. He completed his PhD in 2020 at CNAP at Aalborg University and holds an MSc in Research in Primary Care and an MSc in Orthopedic Manual Therapy. He received his BSc in Physiotherapy. He also maintains private clinical practice with patients with common musculoskeletal disorders and complex pain problems. He is also a member of the Spanish Society for Physiotherapy and Pain and the Spainish Pain Society.