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Pierre Côté, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Pierre Côté, PhD Pierre Côté, PhD

Canada Research Chair in Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, and Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

International musculoskeletal expert developing evidence-based interventions to reduce the burden of long-term disability









Back pain, whiplash injuries and arthritis are common conditions responsible for nearly half of all disabilities experienced in Canada. They are also the main reason so many individuals miss work and consequently have a highly negative impact on productivity.

Musculoskeletal conditions are responsible for 46.1 per cent of disabilities experienced in Canada, yet little research has been done to better understand why the initial symptoms turn into long-term disabilities.

As Canada Research Chair in Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, Pierre Côté, PhD, is dedicated to understanding why individuals develop disabilities, how those disabilities can be prevented, and how individuals can be rehabilitated. Listed three times among the 100 Most Influential Publications in Cervical Spine Research, his work focuses on developing and testing evidence-based interventions that address the physical, psychosocial and societal issues associated with pain and disability.

The economic impact of treating these types of musculoskeletal disabilities is enormous. According to a 2010 report from the Canadian Orthopaedic Care Strategy Group, the number of Canadians with musculoskeletal diseases is predicted to increase with the aging baby boomer population, from 11 million in 2007 to 15 million in 2031. Factor in a recent Statics Canada estimate that $1.2 trillion will be needed to fund the health-care needs of boomers over the next 25 years. Managing these types of disabilities has a substantial economic impact, both currently and well into the future.

Dr. Côté and his research team are taking a holistic approach to identifying key factors that lead to disability. By designing appropriate treatments and rehabilitation approaches, they believe they can make significant inroads into reducing the burden of disabilities related to musculoskeletal pain.

Industry Expertise (4)



Health and Wellness


Areas of Expertise (10)


Public Health


Clinical Practice Guidelines

Systematic Reviews

Musculoskeletal Disorders



Neck Pain

Low Back Pain

Accomplishments (1)

Named One of the World's Most Influential Cervical Spine Researchers (professional)


In a historical and comprehensive study by Switzerland's University of Bern, three of Dr. Côté's research papers are listed among the 100 Most Influential Publications in Cervical Spine Research globally. The Swiss study of the 100 most-cited papers on cervical spine research over the last 100 years named publications authored or co-authored by Dr. Côté at numbers 9, 16 and 48 on the list.

Education (4)

University of Toronto: PhD, Epidemiology and Collaborative Program in Bioethics 2002

University of Saskatchewan: MSc, Orthopaedic Surgery (Epidemiology) 1996

Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College: FCCS, Chiropractic Clinical Sciences 1991

Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College: DC, Chiropractic 1989

Languages (2)

  • English
  • French

Media Appearances (11)

University’s researcher shapes new auto insurance legislation

UOIT News  online


It’s no secret that the Province of Ontario has a major public policy issue to solve when it comes to automobile insurance. Ontario’s 10 million drivers pay the highest premiums in the country, often significantly more than in other provinces (for example, in 2013-2014, average premiums in Ontario were double those of Quebec).

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UOIT researcher Dr. Pierre Côté proposes new approach to common traffic injury management

UOIT  online


As lead investigator and Chair of the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration, Dr. Pierre Côté has released the research findings of a two-year study in the 279-page report Enabling Recovery from Common Traffic Injuries: A Focus on the Injured Person. The new report uses scientific evidence to define a common injury versus one that is catastrophic. The new evidence-based Minor Injury Treatment Protocol (MITP) provides the scientific basis to develop a new Minor Injury Guideline. The protocol will be used by insurers and health-care providers when treating common injuries resulting from automobile collisions and ensure there is an extensive continuum of care based on current and scientific and medical evidence.

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Is exercise effective for the management of neck pain and associated disorders or whiplash-associated disorders?

The Spine Journal  online


Keywords: Whiplash-associated disorders, Neck pain, Exercise, Systematic review, Treatment, Rehabilitation

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No clear winner for neck pain treatment: study

Reuters   online


(Reuters Health) - Exercise and strengthening may not be the best approach for all kinds of neck- and whiplash-related pain, according to a new analysis by Canadian researchers.

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Are work disability prevention interventions effective for the management of neck pain or upper extremity disorders?

Springer  online


We conducted a systematic review to critically appraise and synthesize literature on the effectiveness of work disability prevention (WDP) interventions in workers with neck pain, whiplash-associated disorders (WAD), or upper extremity disorders

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The course and prognostic factors of symptomatic cervical disc herniation with radiculopathy: a systematic review of the literature

PubMed.gov  online


Keywords: Cervical disc herniation; Cervical radiculopathy; Course; Epidemiology; Prognosis; Systematic review

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Does structured patient education improve the recovery and clinical outcomes of patients with neck pain?

PubMed.gov  online


Keywords: Neck pain and associated disorders; Outcome; Patient education; Recovery; Systematic review; Whiplash-associated disorders

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Are prevalent self-reported cardiovascular disorders associated with delayed recovery from whiplash-associated disorders: A population-based cohort study

The Clinical Journal of Pain  online


The aim of this cohort study was to investigate the association between self-reported cardiovascular disorders (CVD) and recovery from whiplash associated disorder (WAD) after a traffic collision.

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Clinical practice guidelines for the management of conditions related to traffic collisions

PubMed.gov  online


Evaluation of the methodological quality and synthesis of recommendations of evidence-based guidelines for the management of common traffic injuries

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Relieve Neck Pain with Home Exercise, Yoga and Qigong

Bottom Line's Daily Health News  online


Explanation describing relief for varying severities of neck pain

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Is multimodal care effective for the management of patients with whiplash-associated disorders or neck pain and associated disorders?

PubMed.gov  online


An update on the findings from the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders and evaluate the effectiveness of multimodal care for the management of patients with WAD and NAD

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Event Appearances (5)

Eurospine Conference

Eurospine Conference   Dublin, Ireland


National Model of Care for Low Back Pain Session

National Model of Care for Low Back Pain Session  Toronto, Canada


Eurospine Task Force on Research

Eurospine Task Force on Research  Geneva Switzerland


World Health Assembly

World Health Organization  Geneva, Switzerland


4th Annual Strategic Research Retreat

UOIT - Faculty of Health Sciences   Oshawa, Ontario


Research Grants (1)

Development of a Minor Injury Treatment Protocol

Ontario Ministry of Finance - Financial Services Commission of Ontario $2800000

Ontario Ministry of Finance - Financial Services Commission of Ontario OSS_00267175. Côté P (PI). Development of a Minor Injury Treatment Protocol; 2012-2014