First Report on a US Project Analyzing Chiropractic and Medical Interprofessional Relationships

First Report on a US Project Analyzing Chiropractic
and Medical Interprofessional Relationships

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J Interprof Care 2004 (Aug);   18 (3):   320-321

Monica Smith, DC, PhD, Barry Greene, PhD, Mitchell Haas, DC, MA, Junlin Liao, MBA, MHA, MS

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research,
741 Brady Street,
Davenport, IA 52803

Evidence points to increased utilization of complementary and alternative medicine services (CAM), although little knowledge exists about the coordination or integration of CAM with conventional health care. The project described here explores two dimensions of the relationship between chiropractors and conventional allopathic primary care physicians in the U.S., using two modes of data collection. All chiropractors (DCs) and medical primary care providers (MDPCPs) in Iowa were surveyed in 2003 to measure patterns of referrals/consults and bidirectional communication between the two practitioner types. In addition, nine focus groups made up of both academic and community leaders in their respective fields were convened throughout 2002 and 2003, to gather information about the conceptual formulation and barriers and facilitators of the design, delivery and implementation of practice-based research networks (PBRNs) that would include both CAM and medical providers.

Based on preliminary analysis of survey data (preliminary survey response rate 40%), most respondent MDs report that a patient had asked them for information about chiropractic (86%), or for a referral to a chiropractor (74%). While over 99% of respondent DCs have recommended that a patient seek medical care and 90% of DCs have formally referred a patient to an MD, significantly less MDs have ever recommended to a patient that they try chiropractic (64%) or have formally referred to a chiropractor (30%).

Information from this project will serve as a foundation for setting scientific research agendas of mutual interest and benefit to the interprofessional fields and the communities of health services research science

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