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PCCR to collaborate on study of low back pain patients who see D.C.s and M.D.s

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded a three-year grant for approximately $1.3 million to the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research in September. The grant is funding a study called “Co-Management of Older Adults With Low Back Pain by Medical Doctors and Doctors of Chiropractic.”

Throughout the three-year project, Palmer researchers will be collaborating with those at the Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine Residency Program; the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa; the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; the University of Iowa Center on Aging; and the College of Health Professions at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa.

An estimated 70 to 85 percent of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, and it’s one of the most common reasons for medical physician visits. Approximately eight percent of U.S. adults see chiropractors each year, primarily for back pain. Patients are seeking care from both D.C.s and M.D.s, but there is little research on this topic.

“Currently, there are few examples and little scientific study of care coordination between M.D.s and D.C.s for low back pain, and nothing that specifically targets adults over the age of 65,” said Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., Palmer’s vice chancellor for Research and Health Policy and principal investigator of the study. “Our study will begin to address this critical gap in the literature.”

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