Karin Due Bruun

PhD student

Karin Due Bruun received her medical degree from the University of Southern Denmark in 1998 and became a general practitioner in 2006. Karin has been working with chronic pain patients at different multidisciplinary pain clinics in The Region of Southern Denmark since 2012, and she has been a consultant at Pain Center South, Odense University Hospital since 2014. She holds a diploma in Advanced Pain Medicine from SSAI.

Karin’s primary research focus is chronic widespread pain and fibromyalgia. She explores how these groups of patients differ from other chronic pain conditions. Furthermore, Karin investigates new treatment options, i.e., low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as an off-label treatment for fibromyalgia. Karin is enrolled as a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Denmark and works part-time as a consultant at Pain Center South, OUH. As a Ph.D. student, Karin is co-affiliated with Section for Biostatistics and Evidence-Based Research, at the Parker Institute, as a fellow in clinical epidemiology with focus on advanced research in pain mechanisms. These research efforts are led at the Parker Institute by pain specialist, Dr. Stine Amris, MD, DMSc with the emphasis on evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of new symptom-based criteria for fibromyalgia in a population of high-impact chronic non-malignant pain patients referred to pain rehabilitation.

A methodology aspect of the PhD is to encourage correct and optimal use of statistical inference from the most appropriate research designs (e.g. causal inference). Causal inference refers to the process of drawing a conclusion that a specific treatment (i.e., LDN intervention) was the “cause” of the effect on pain that was observed. In a well-designed experiment, random assignment of participants to treatments makes causal inference straightforward. Thus, a clinical epidemiology aspect of the Ph.D. project is to use and master the design, analysis, and reporting of randomized trial designs, in order to investigate the efficacy of LDN in the management of fibromyalgia. Karin has planned two consecutive clinical studies. First a dose-finding study, followed by a randomized placebo-controlled trial (n=100; the FINAL trial).

The outline of the PhD thesis will focus on identifying and treating fibromyalgia in a tertiary pain rehabilitation setting.