Chiropractic Research: A Moral Issue
SOURCE: Dynamic Chiropractic ~ June 1, 2013
By Stephen M. Perle, DC, MS
This year I’ve had the opportunity to go to three great chiropractic research conferences; the Association of Chiropractic Colleges / Research Agenda Conference (ACC-RAC), the Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (FICS) Congress and the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress. Seeing the wide range of both basic and clinical-science research made me proud to be a doctor of chiropractic.
In my time in the profession I’ve witnessed amazing progress in the state of chiropractic research. A little over 30 years ago I was a research assistant at Texas Chiropractic College. Our new research director at the time, Dr. Jay Simon, asked me to search for what research there was about chiropractic and manipulation. Hours in the library at TCC, Baylor Medical College and the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine resulted in less original research than I saw and heard at these three conferences. I think the body of research is expanding in ways that will positively impact our management of patients.
This research is leading to a real Golden Age for our profession despite the battles we need to fight – and maybe because of them. I have worked with the American Chiropractic Association in helping reverse the decisions of a few insurance carriers that intended to discontinue coverage for certain conditions treated by chiropractic physicians. The reversal of those policy changes was based entirely on seeing the scientific evidence that demonstrated the safety and efficacy of our care.
We know so much more about the effects and clinical and cost-effectiveness of our interventions than I dreamed of while sitting in those libraries digging away to find any evidence. Yet despite being a research assistant in chiropractic college back then, I never really saw how research was going to benefit our patients, profession or me when I started my practice in 1983. (more…)