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Palmer Legacy Families

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Winter 2018

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PCCR initiatives focus on tools you can use in clinical practice

Science continually evolves to incorporate new information and address new challenges. Current research initiatives by the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), the largest chiropractic research facility in the United States, focus on multi-disciplinary collaboration to improve patient outcomes and provide new tools for practicing chiropractors.

How does PCCR research impact your chiropractic practice? “We are now in the process of translating research findings into tools chiropractors can use to enhance their patient care,” says Palmer’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., F.P.A.C. “For example, one of our research faculty members, Robert Vining, D.C., and his team used the data from two federally funded clinical trials to develop an evidence-based classification system for the diagnosis of low-back pain. Access to this paper, along with other evidence-based resources, is available in Palmer’s new Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Toolkit.”

Toolkit snapshot: patient-reported outcome tools for chiropractors

You’ve delivered patient-focused health care from day one, but now insurance companies and third-party payers want more. They want data. The Palmer Toolkit can help.

Collecting patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is an important key to providing patient-centered care. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, a PRO is any report of the status of a patient's health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient's response by a clinician or anyone else. As insurance companies and other payers increasingly look to PROs as a measure of quality and begin to link reimbursements to those measures, implementing an effective PRO in your practice is essential.

There are a number of PROs available for use by doctors of chiropractic. Commonly used instruments include the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, the Oswestry Disability Index, the Numerical Rating Scale, and the PROMIS 29. These PROs can add an important patient perspective that complements chiropractic health-history taking and other examination findings during both initial intake and subsequent treatment visits.

The Palmer Toolkit includes a collection of reliable and valid PROs that have been used to measure patient outcomes. The collection was compiled by experts in evidence-based clinical practice at the PCCR specifically for doctors of chiropractic. The PROs included in the Toolkit are all free to use and include instructions on implementation and scoring.


Inter-Institutional Network for Chiropractic Research

The PCCR has made a commitment of $2.4 million to form the Inter-Institutional Network for Chiropractic Research. Other research partners include the Yale Center for Medical Informatics and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The Network is a five-year multidisciplinary effort designed to build collaborations that expand the evidence base for chiropractic services delivery, leading to improved care for patients. Goals include increasing uptake of evidence- based health-care delivery policies by other stakeholders, creating an environment where D.C.s are well-integrated into interdisciplinary teams, and conducting translational research that can provide information on mechanisms of action resulting from spinal manipulation, with the objective of enhancing patient care.

PCCR and partners receive $7.1 million commitment from NIH

Scientists at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research and the University of Kentucky have been awarded a $451,522 grant by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health for a three-year research project to study the mechanisms of spinal manipulative therapy. It includes a student-research training component— the first of its kind in chiropractic research. PCCR Associate Professor Stephen Onifer, Ph.D., pictured above with Research Honors students, is the principal investigator.
2 researchers looking at monitors, and 1 researcher looking through microscope.

Scientists at the PCCR and partner organizations received a $7.1 million award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. The award funds a two-year research planning project to address the short-term pain and functional outcomes associated with different numbers of chiropractic visits for Veterans with chronic low-back pain, and the long-term effectiveness of chiropractic care delivered at Veterans Health Administration clinics.

“There is a pressing need to address the devastating impact of chronic lowback pain in U.S. Veterans,” says Dr. Goertz. “We believe the results of this study have the potential to directly impact chiropractic health policy within the VA and beyond.”

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