MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURY REHABILITATION RESEARCH for operational readiness
The Musculoskeletal Injury Rehabilitation Research for Operational Readiness (MIRROR) program delivers high value research, education, training, and infrastructure for over 40 clinically relevant musculoskeletal injury (MSI) studies within the military health system (MHS). MIRROR supports a broad scope of projects, including epidemiological investigation, investigator initiated pilots, and prospective randomized multisite clinical trials. Areas of clinical evaluation comprise general MSI care process models and highly prevalent anatomically-specific (e.g. back, knee, shoulder pain, etc.) targeted interventions with protocols examining effective return-to-duty activities. Results of these studies generate evidence-based approaches for future clinical practice guidelines as well as educational opportunities for future military and civilian providers.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Identification, Prevention, and Treatment of MSI Risk Factors and Comorbid Disorders
- Optimization of Standard of Care Practices for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of MSI Injuries
- Establishment of Strategies to Mitigate Injury Occurrence
- Application of New Technologies in Preventative and Rehabilitative Care
SOME OF OUR PARTNERS
SUPPORTING CLINICIANS, RESEARCHERS, AND OTHER INNOVATORS
Musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) affect approximately 800,000 service members annually and result in 25 million days of limited duty. These conditions are the primary reasons for medical discharge and downgrade, and result in 34% of medical evacuations from theatre. Most concerning though is that the disability discharge rate for MSI has increased 13x between 1981 and 2005 (70 vs. 950 per 100,000 persons), which negatively impacts cost, care and utilization within the military health system (MHS).
Given the strict requirements for physical fitness in the military, and impact of MSI on combat readiness, the Defense Health Agency has supported the creation of the Musculoskeletal Injury Rehabilitation Research for Operational Readiness (MIRROR) program, which will provide critical infrastructure, operational and research support to advance the treatment and preventive care for service members with non-combat related MSI. Headquartered at the Uniformed Services University (USU), MIRROR will coordinate inter-service partnerships with the primary military treatment facilities (MTFs), as well as other sites that experience a high volume of MSI, but lack a robust infrastructure to conduct rigorous clinical studies.
MIRROR additionally provides risk assessment and preventative action in order to decrease the incidence and burden of MSI among service members to include special recognition of the MSI demands unique to the female wounded warrior. This occurs through a coordinated process which includes: (1) determining the existence and magnitude of the problem, (2) identifying causes of the problem, (3) determining what prevents the problem, (4) implementing prevention strategies and programs, and (5) continuing surveillance and monitoring/evaluating the effectiveness of prevention efforts. In order to determine the most effective and efficient methods of treatment and prevention of MSI in the military, MIRROR researchers closely align with DoD leadership and have advisory members who serve as MTF administrators, senior investigators, Joint Program Committee (JPC) chairs, etc.