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From the Past to the Present–Palmer Women Continue to Inspire

From the Past to the Present–Palmer Women Continue to Inspire

Winter 2016

research update

Dr. Katie Pohlman leads the way in pediatric research

A mother of four children, Katie Pohlman, D.C., M.S., DICCP, Davenport ’06, decided early in her chiropractic career to focus on pediatric research. After earning her doctor of chiropractic and master of science in clinical research degrees from Palmer, she was awarded a diplomate from the International Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics and is working on a Ph.D. in pediatrics from the University of Alberta.

outside, Dr. Pohlman holds and looks at newborn daughter

Her Ph.D. thesis project is a research study to collect data on the safety of chiropractic care of children. When completed, it’ll be the largest prospective evaluation of safety for the pediatric population within the chiropractic profession. It’s being conducted with an interdisciplinary team of investigators with expertise in pediatrics, epidemiology, pediatric methodology, musculoskeletal methodology and patient safety. Dr. Pohlman is a clinician scientist at Parker University.

“Doctors of chiropractic are the most widely sought-after complementary and integrative health-care provider group that sees children,” Dr. Pohlman says. “On average, a chiropractic practice provides 17 to 39 percent of its care to children.” But high-quality studies on the safety of chiropractic care are lacking.

Dr. Pohlman has designed the study to be convenient for participating chiropractors. The goal is to recruit 70 doctors of chiropractic by early 2017. Participants will be asked to collect data from up to 60 consecutive pediatric patient visits (patients aged 13 years old or younger). Data collection is quick and easy, adding just a minute or so to patient visits.

Study participants will benefit from taking part in this research in a variety of ways, Dr. Pohlman says. “It demonstrates the participating chiropractors’ commitment to patient safety and engagement in grass-roots research efforts,” she adds. “It also may reduce patient harms by identifying modifiable risk factors, which augments patient trust and satisfaction with care.”

profile of dr. katie pohlman

Safety and trust are important elements of the public’s perception of chiropractors, and two areas identified as needing improvement in successive annual Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic reports.

The study uses rigorous methodology to prospectively collect safety information on the use of pediatric chiropractic care, which will allow Dr. Pohlman and her team to identify any key issues or concerns, determine a more accurate risk estimate associated with pediatric chiropractic care, and provide better quality information for discussions regarding informed consent.

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