The SYmbiome project: predicting and explaining (non)recovery from musculoskeletal trauma

The Systematic Merging of Biology, Mental Heath, and Environment (SYMBIOME) project is a prospective longitudinal cohort study and databanking initiative of adults after non-catastrophic musculoskeletal (MSK) trauma. These include things like whiplash, low back injuries, sprains, strains, and uncomplicated fractures. In Phase 1, 120 participants were followed from within days to a few weeks of an injury for up to 12 months. We collected a robust set of data, including biological (blood, saliva, hair, and stool), psychological (pain, distress, anxiety, depression, and disability), and social (early life trauma, general stress, socioeconomic status, education, work, legal, and interpersonal) variables. Other variables include sex, age, gender orientation, body mass index, pre-existing medical or other comorbid conditions, lifestyle and diet. Data are collected at baseline, 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 months. Results are currently being prepared or under review for publication and sharing.

Phase 2 is targeted for a 2020 start, that is intended to increase the total database from 120 to 300 participants. This will build on the successful Phase 1 and help researchers, clinicians, policy makers, and patients better understand WHO is most likely to get better after an injury, WHO is most likely to develop chronic problems (pain or disability) without intervention, and perhaps most importantly, WHY.