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Palmer College

Data collection begins for DOD research project

“This [grant] is the largest single award for a chiropractic research project in the history of the profession.”
soldier getting adjusted

In February 2011, scientists at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), the RAND Corporation and the Samueli Institute were awarded a landmark $7.4 million grant by the Department of Defense (DOD). The grant is funding a four-year research project to assess chiropractic treatment for military readiness in active-duty personnel. This is the largest single award for a chiropractic research project in the history of the profession.

The PCCR will receive approximately $5.1 million to design and implement the three clinical trials funded by this award. Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., is a co-principal investigator of the project, and Katherine Pohlman, D.C., M.S., is the clinical projects manager. Dr. Pohlman supervises all of the project managers for the three clinical trials and handles the complex logistics and day-to-day operations of the huge study. It is being conducted by a team of 40 people at the three institutions and a total of six military sites for all of the trials.

The first clinical trial, known as Assessment of Chiropractic Treatment I, or ACT I, will examine chiropractic’s effectiveness in relieving low back pain and improving functions in active-duty service members at military facilities located in Pensacola, Fla., Bethesda, Md., Rock Island, Ill., and San Diego, Calif. The Cooperative Agreement between all sites and investigative institutes has been officially signed and final Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval received. Participant recruitment and data collection began at San Diego on Sept. 11, 2012, and at Pensacola on Oct. 2. At press time, participant recruitment and data collection were expected to start in November at Bethesda. This phase is expected to take two years at each site.

Assessment of Chiropractic Treatment II, or ACT II, will compare differences in reflexes and reaction time before and after chiropractic care in members of Special Operations forces. The study design has been finalized, and IRB approvals are anticipated by the end of 2012. Recruitment and data collection is expected to begin in May 2014 and to take 18 months at each site.

The third clinical trial, Assessment of Chiropractic Treatment III, or ACT III, will assess military readiness by evaluating differences in strength, balance and recurrences following chiropractic treatment in service members that are deployment ready. The study design has been finalized, and IRB approvals are anticipated by the end of 2012. Recruitment and data collection is expected to begin in March 2013 and to take 18 months at each site.

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