Musculoskeletal diseases are known for a large impact of the quality of life, extensive use of healthcare services, and often result in disability pension, and negative impact on the patients´ families. The Parker Institute was inaugurated in 1999 with the overall aim to improve pain and functional ability for the sufferers of musculoskeletal painful conditions as well as the life quality and functional level for the individual and cost-saving for society. This is sought by improving the basis for diagnostics, treatment and prevention of rheumatological diseases by conducting research in the common diseases of the locomotor system such as
- Degenerative musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis
- Inflammatory diseases of joint and muscles especially rheumatoid arthritis
- Soft tissue pain conditions
- Furthermore, the Parker Institute has an international status for diagnosis of sequels of torture.
Based on refined diagnostics, algorithms for personalised interventions are pursued with a documentation of the effect of both currently used and newly developed treatments.
The Institute employs health care providers from a range of different specialities, who collaborate in a multiprofessional effort to move forward knowledge and development within the field of rheumatology. The many aspects of this research are covered by the various units, lead by a group of postdocs with a common task of supervising about 10 PhD students. Also, the Parker Institute wellcomes many younger researchers, who are attached to the Institute during shorter or longer periods to earn their bachelor or candidate degrees. In total, the staff counts some 40 dedicated researchers and technicians with backgrounds varying from MDs, PTs, OTs, nurses, and a strong biostatistical unit.
The Parker Institute has its own biomechanical laboratory and a test unit for function of patients within activities of daily living. Also, some biochemical analyses are performed at the Institute. The imaging diagnostics comprise ultrasound examinations, which are carried out by the staff in the rheumatological setting, and MRI scans, which are performed in collaboration with the Department of Radiology, who has obtained several scanners form the sponsors of the Parker Institute. Thus, the Institute has time slots in the MRI units dedicated to its patients, and the Bispebjerg & Frederiksberg Hospital sponsors musculoskeletal imaging research in particular.
Apart from conducting their own research at the Parker Institute, members of the staff participate in working groups of the Danish National Board of Health with the aim of transgression into the daily clinic the evidence and advances created by their research.
Apart from the director of the Institute, who is employed by the Capital Region H of Denmark, all staff is employed on the basis of grants from public and private foundations. Over the years, funding has been obtained from many different sources, including a generous, basic grant from the Oak Foundation. While the Parker Institute mostly engages in investigator initiated research, members of the staff participate in a number of international, industry sponsored projects. Much of the clinical research is carried out in collaboration with the out patients clinic of the Department of Rheumatology at the Bispebjerg & Frederiksberg Hospital, while some experimental studies take place at the Institute proper.
The research of The Parker Institute is subjected to a yearly evaluation by an international scientific advisory board established by The Oak Foundation.