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Spring 2019

Research Update

Supporting the case for chiropractic care in multidisciplinary treatment settings

Chiropractors are increasingly working alongside medical doctors, physical therapists, nurses and other members of health care teams, as well as providing patient care in diverse settings. Although more of the general population understands the role of chiropractic care in helping patients improve their health, reduce pain, and decrease opioid use, little has been known about the catalyst to incorporating chiropractic services into conventional medical settings.

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) recently conducted two studies in a diverse range of settings including hospitals, multidisciplinary clinics, and rehabilitation centers.

All studies showed stakeholder groups believe that chiropractic care supports patients on their healing journeys – a significant finding as the profession continues to grow amid the opioid crisis. By understanding stakeholder expectations and perceptions, doctors of chiropractic will have more opportunities to integrate into multidisciplinary care settings.

Article 1

BE GOOD, COMMUNICATE, AND COLLABORATE: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES ON ADDING A CHIROPRACTOR TO THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY REHABILITATION TEAM

What impact do patients, their families, and clinicians believe adding a chiropractor to an in-patient hospital team for patients requiring brain and spinal-cord rehab will have? In this study, researchers interviewed 60 stakeholders, including patients, families, and professional staff, to learn more about what they wanted in the chiropractor who would join this team.

Stakeholders saw a role for chiropractors in a rehab setting and indicated that chiropractors could have impact by taking a patient-centered approach, using treatments that are known to work well, and offering comfort. The research participants also reported that chiropractors who successfully integrate into a multidisciplinary setting would show characteristics including teamwork, openness to feedback, and aligning care with the hospital’s mission.

Article 2

STAKEHOLDER EXPECTATIONS FROM THE INTEGRATION OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE INTO A REHABILITATION SETTING

This study explored expectations held by patients, their families, hospital staff and administrators of adding a chiropractor to the health-care team at a rehabilitation-specialty hospital. Researchers found stakeholders expected the addition of chiropractic care to benefit patients through pain management and functional improvements.

With a better understanding of stakeholder expectations, providers may be better equipped to achieve appropriate clinical outcomes and patient and staff satisfaction. Supporting the case for chiropractic care in multidisciplinary treatment settings college news Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research:

Article 3

CHIROPRACTIC INTEGRATION INTO PRIVATE-SECTOR MEDICAL FACILITIES: A MULTISITE QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY

doctors looking at an x-ray on a table

Researchers explored the organizational structures, care processes and perceived value of chiropractic integration within U.S. private sector medical facilities. Unique to this study, researchers interviewed 135 key facility stakeholders including D.C.s, non-D.C. clinicians, support staff, administrators, and patients in nine U.S. private-sector medical facilities with in-place, on-site chiropractic care, including five hospitals and four clinics. Study participants reported that the addition of chiropractic care is valuable to patients, medical providers and administration. Stakeholders reported patient clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, provider productivity and cost offset as success measures.

These research studies underscore the important role doctors of chiropractic have in multi-disciplinary settings. With a better understanding of stakeholder expectations and beliefs, doctors of chiropractic can continue to grow the profession and impact overall health and quality of life for more people than ever before.

Learn more about the articles mentioned in the text at www.palmer.edu/research, and about multidisciplinary practice models at www.palmer.edu/toolkit.

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