The Value of Chiropractic Gains Recognition in Nationally Published Research

The release of four new studies highlighting a more patient-centered, comprehensive and collaborative care model, which includes chiropractic care, proves to be an impressive win-win for you, your practice and your patients.

The shift in today’s healthcare toward safe, effective pain management explains why many providers are beginning to recognize the value that the care provided by doctors of chiropractic (DC) has in an integrated setting, especially as it relates to drug-free management of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions.

Key findings from the studies are as follows:

  • “Chiropractic Integration into Private Sector Medical Facilities: A Multisite Qualitative Case Study.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (July 2018).
    • Researchers evaluated a diverse group of U.S. private sector medical facilities that had integrated chiropractic care in nine clinics. DCs were sought to take an evidence-based approach to patient care, work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team and engage in interprofessional case management. Markers for clinic success included: patient clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, provider productivity and cost offset. Based on these markers, facility stakeholders, including clinicians, support staff, administrators and patients, reported high satisfaction with the care provided by DCs.
  • “Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among U.S. Service Members with Low Back Pain: A Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial.” JAMA Network Open (May 2018).
    • Patients who received collaborative care that included chiropractic manipulation integrated with usual medical care reported improvement in low back pain intensity and disability compared with those who received standard medical care (medication, physical therapy, pain management) alone. This study was the largest randomized clinical trial in chiropractic research in the United States to date. It took place over four years, from September 2012 to February 2016, and involved 750 active-duty U.S. military personnel at three sites across the country.
  • “Chiropractic Integrated Care Pathway for Low Back Pain in Veterans: Results of a Delphi Consensus Process.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (February 2018).
    • This National Institutes of Health-funded study focused on developing an integrated care pathway for DCs, primary care providers and mental health professionals who manage veterans with low back pain (with or without mental health comorbidity) within Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities. The care pathway included a new standardized approach to interdisciplinary referral to chiropractic services and for chiropractic case management in a VA medical center setting. As such, chiropractic care is now a tier 1 integrative pain treatment modality that may be incorporated into a Veteran’s patient-centered care plan.
  • “Be Good, Communicate, and Collaborate: A Qualitative Analysis of Stakeholder Perspectives on Adding a Chiropractor to the Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Team.” Chiropractic & Manual Therapies (June 2018).
    • This study supports the integration of a DC into a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team. Researchers interviewed 60 participants as part of a study designed to provide an expanded view of the qualities that DCs might bring to integrated healthcare settings. Suggestions for leadership strategies and professional attributes the chiropractic profession needs to consider were included, such as patient-centeredness (being respectful, responsive and inclusive of the patient’s values), interprofessional qualities (teamwork, resourcefulness) and personality fit.

The research speaks volumes

As new research continues to surface documenting the improved outcomes, reduced costs and high patient satisfaction scores associated with chiropractic, be sure to share this information in your local community. The more familiar that you are with the current research, the more confident that your patients will feel in the care being provided, and the more likely they will be to spread the word about the positive health benefits linked to chiropractic care.

For more information about advances in collaborative care, read the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ recent article in Becker’s Spine Review here.

About the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP)

Founded in November 2003 by Kent S. Greenawalt, CEO, Foot Levelers Inc., the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) educates the public about chiropractic care through positive press. The F4CP Executive Board is comprised of chiropractic leaders, stakeholders and others.


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