Study finds opportunities for integration of doctors of chiropractic into U.S. private sector health-care facilities

Study finds opportunities for integration of doctors of chiropractic into U.S. private sector health-care facilities

A new study by the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research found a majority of doctors of chiropractic working in multidisciplinary health-care facilities such as hospitals report high levels of integration, including co-managing patients with medical staffs and sharing health records.

An article about the study was published in the February 2018 issue of the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics. Scientists from the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) and collaborating partners, described the characteristics, benefits and challenges of doctors of chiropractic (D.C.s) working in medical facilities in the U.S.

“Recent clinical practice guidelines have encouraged greater use of non-drug based therapies, like spinal manipulation, for the treatment of people with back pain,” said Stacie Salsbury, Ph.D., R.N., the study’s lead author. “We know from previous studies conducted by the PCCR that chiropractic patients would like their D.C.s to collaborate with medical personnel. Chiropractors who work in integrated healthcare settings, like the ones described in this paper, are well-placed to practice in just such a collaborative style. This survey describes some of the benefits and challenges faced by D.C.s who practice in typical medical facilities. Future studies will need to explore the impact of such integrated care on patient outcomes.”

The online survey, funded by the NCMIC Foundation, included 38 D.C.s, mostly mid-career professionals, who worked in integrated health-care facilities, such as hospitals, multispecialty offices, ambulatory clinics, or other health-care settings. Most (68 percent) were salaried employees. The majority reported high levels of integration in their facilities, such as co-managing patients with medical staff, using the same health record, and working in the same clinic.

The study was co-authored by Stacie A. Salsbury, Ph.D., R.N.; Christine M. Goertz, D.C., Ph.D.; Elissa J. Twist, D.C., M.S.; and Anthony J. Lisi, D.C.