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Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research and partners receive three-year grant to study veterans

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Scientists at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) along with partner organizations, the University of Iowa, the Iowa City VA Health Care Systems, the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, have been awarded a $718,241 grant by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The grant will fund a three-year research planning project to address questions about how chiropractic care might be best integrated into existing Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinical practice guidelines for veterans with a combination of musculoskeletal pain and mental health conditions.

“A significant number of our nation’s veterans suffer from musculoskeletal disorders combined with mental health conditions,” says Principal Investigator Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., Palmer College of Chiropractic’s vice chancellor for Research and Health Policy. “Chiropractic provides a non-pharmaceutical option that may contribute to a multi-disciplinary treatment approach. This planning grant will be used to collect the preliminary data needed to further evaluate the impact of adding chiropractic services to already established military care models.”

U.S. military veterans report high levels of musculoskeletal pain, including back pain, neck pain and headache, and have high rates of many mental-health conditions. The study team will:

  • Develop an integrative-care model that includes doctors of chiropractic in multidisciplinary teams treating patients with both musculoskeletal pain and mental-health conditions in the VHA
  • Tailor existing chiropractic guidelines and best practices to link with current VHA pain-management initiatives
  • Conduct a pilot clinical trial of this integrated-care model in caring for veterans with both musculoskeletal pain and mental-health conditions
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