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Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research receives $1.3 million federal grant award

Source Quad-Cities Online
Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2009

Palmer Receives HRSA Grant Award to Study Co-Management of Older Adults With Low Back Pain by M.D.s and D.C.s

(Davenport, IOWA) The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded a three-year grant for approximately $1.3 million to the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) for a study called Co-Management of Older Adults With Low Back Pain by Medical Doctors and Doctors of Chiropractic. Throughout this project, PCCR researchers will be collaborating with researchers 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.

It has been estimated that between 70 to 85 percent of Americans suffer back pain at some point in their lives, and it is 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. Clearly, patients are seeking care from both doctors of chiropractic and medical doctors. However, there is little research on this topic.

“Currently, there are few examples and little scientific study of care coordination between medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic for low back pain, and nothing that specifically targets adults above 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. “This study will begin to address this critical gap in the literature.”

The long-term goal of this study is to enhance human health by improving quality of care through the use of a comprehensive, feasible, accessible, effective, team-based approach to healthcare delivery for sub-acute and chronic low back pain. Specifically, the study will evaluate the extent to which Medicare patients are using chiropractic and medical services for low back pain; further develop a multi-disciplinary model for patient-centered collaborative care between medical doctors (M.D.s) and doctors of chiropractic (D.C.s) in an older adult population with sub-acute or chronic low back pain; and conduct a pilot study to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the collaborative care model.

“This grant will allow us to study Medicare beneficiaries with a history of back pain in order to determine who was treated by doctors of chiropractic, who was treated by medical doctors, and who was treated by both,” said Fredric D. Wolinsky, Ph.D., the John W. Colloton Chair for the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. “This will be the first-ever examination of the co-occurrence of treatment for back pain from a national perspective.”

Added Andrew A. Andresen, M.D., program director for the Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine Residency Program: “We are looking forward to participating in this collaborative project. It is important to research these types of innovative ways to improve care of our patients with low back pain.”

This latest grant award brings the total of federal funds awarded to the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research over the past 10 years to more than $28 million.

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