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Care Outcomes for Chiropractic Outpatient Veterans (COCOV): A Qualitative Study with Veteran Stakeholders From a Pilot Trial of Multimodal Chiropractic Care

By |January 18, 2022|Chiropractic Management, Cost-Effectiveness, Veterans|

Care Outcomes for Chiropractic Outpatient Veterans (COCOV): A Qualitative Study with Veteran Stakeholders From a Pilot Trial of Multimodal Chiropractic Care

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Pilot Feasibility Stud 2022 (Jan 14); 8 (1): 6

Stacie A. Salsbury, Elissa Twist, Robert B. Wallace, Robert D. Vining, Christine M. Goertz & Cynthia R. Long

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research,
Palmer College of Chiropractic,
741 Brady Street,
Davenport, Iowa, 52803, USA.



Background:   Low back pain (LBP) is common among military veterans seeking treatment in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities. As chiropractic services within VA expand, well-designed pragmatic trials and implementation studies are needed to assess clinical effectiveness and program uptake. This study evaluated veteran stakeholder perceptions of the feasibility and acceptability of care delivery and research processes in a pilot trial of multimodal chiropractic care for chronic LBP.

Methods:   The qualitative study was completed within a mixed-method, single-arm, pragmatic, pilot clinical trial of chiropractic care for LBP conducted in VA chiropractic clinics. Study coordinators completed semi-structured, in person or telephone interviews with veterans near the end of the 10–week trial. Interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative content analysis using a directed approach explored salient themes related to trial implementation and delivery of chiropractic services.

Results:   Of 40 participants, 24 completed interviews (60% response; 67% male gender; mean age 51.7 years). Overall, participants considered the trial protocol and procedures feasible and reported that the chiropractic care and recruitment methods were acceptable. Findings were organized into 4 domains, 10 themes, and 21 subthemes. Chiropractic service delivery domain encompassed 3 themes/8 subthemes: scheduling process (limited clinic hours, scheduling future appointments, attendance barriers); treatment frequency (treatment sufficient for LBP complaint, more/less frequent treatments); and chiropractic clinic considerations (hire more chiropractors, including female chiropractors; chiropractic clinic environment; patient-centered treatment visits). Outcome measures domain comprised 3 themes/4 subthemes: questionnaire burden (low burden vs. time-consuming or repetitive); relevance (items relevant for LBP study); and timing and individualization of measures (questionnaire timing relative to symptoms, personalized approach to outcomes measures). The online data collection domain included 2 themes/4 subthemes: user concerns (little difficulty vs. form challenges, required computer skills); and technology issues (computer/internet access, junk mail). Clinical trial planning domain included 2 themes/5 subthemes: participant recruitment (altruistic service by veterans, awareness of chiropractic availability, financial compensation); and communication methods (preferences, potential barriers).

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Effects of Chiropractic Care on Strength, Balance, and Endurance in Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel with Low Back Pain

By |July 30, 2020|Low Back Pain, Veterans|

Effects of Chiropractic Care on Strength, Balance, and Endurance in Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel with Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   J Altern Complement Med 2020 (Jul)

Robert Vining, Cynthia R. Long, Amy Minkalis, M. Ram Gudavalli, Ting Xia, Joan Walter, Ian Coulter, and Christine M. Goertz

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research,
Palmer College of Chiropractic,
Davenport, IA, USA.


Objectives:   To investigate whether chiropractic care influences strength, balance, and/or endurance in active-duty United States military personnel with low back pain (LBP).

Design:   This study employed a prospective randomized controlled trial using a pragmatic treatment approach. Participants were randomly allocated to 4 weeks of chiropractic care or to a wait-list control. Interventions: Chiropractic care consisted of spinal manipulation, education, advice, and reassurance.

Settings/Location:   Naval Air Technical Training Center branch clinic at the Naval Hospital Pensacola Florida.

Subjects:   One hundred ten active-duty military personnel 18-40 years of age with self-reported LBP.

Outcome measures:   Isometric pulling strength from a semisquat position was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes were single-leg balance with eyes open and eyes closed, and trunk muscle endurance using the Biering-Sorensen test. Patient-reported outcomes such as pain severity and disability were also measured. Outcomes were measured at baseline and 4 weeks. Linear mixed-effects regression models over baseline and 4 weeks were used for analysis.

Results:   Participants had mean age of 30 years (18-40), 17% were female, 33% were non-white, and 86% reported chronic LBP.

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Chiropractic Care Works for Troops with Lower Back Pain

By |September 19, 2019|Veterans|

Chiropractic Care Works for Troops with Lower Back Pain, But Not Everyone Can Access It

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Military.com ~ 16 Sep 2019

By Patricia Kime

Military.com


A decade after being asked to study how chiropractic care may increase fitness among troops with lower back pain, the Defense Department has submitted its report to Congress.

The answer? It works.

But service members still shouldn’t expect the treatment to be available at every military health facility.

And as for military family members, retirees and their families, the benefit, along with other alternative therapies, remains uncovered by Tricare.

Earlier this month, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs James Stewart sent a final report to Congress (PDF) on three clinical trials conducted in the last 10 years at military health facilities by Rand Corp., Palmer College of Chiropractic and the Samueli Institute to determine whether chiropractic care can ease lower back pain in troops, help service members stop smoking and increase readiness.


Related:   Does Tricare Cover Chiropractic Care?


The $7.5 million study was ordered under the fiscal 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law on Oct. 28, 2009. According to the report released Sept. 6, the trials showed some positive results.

The first clinical trial, to determine whether chiropractic care reduced pain and helped troops stop smoking, showed statistically significant improvement for service members with back pain who received chiropractic care alongside regular medical care.

The second trial, to test whether chiropractic care had any effect on the reaction and response times of special operations troops, showed that a single session had an immediate effect on motor response.

But the trials also found that chiropractic care had no real influence on smoking cessation, nor did the acceleration of response time among special operators last after the initial effect.

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Use of Non-Pharmacological Pain Treatment Modalities

By |May 6, 2019|Spinal Pain, Veterans|

Use of Non-Pharmacological Pain Treatment Modalities Among Veterans with Chronic Pain:

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   J Gen Intern Med. 2018 (May); 33 (Sup 1): 54–60

Sara N. Edmond, Ph.D., William C. Becker, M.D., Mary A. Driscoll, Ph.D., Suzanne E. Decker, Ph.D., Diana M. Higgins, Ph.D., Kristin M. Mattocks, Ph.D., M.P.H., Robert D. Kerns, Ph.D., and Sally G. Haskell, M.D.

Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center/11ACSLG,
VA Connecticut Healthcare System,
950 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT, 06516, USA.


BACKGROUND:   Despite strong evidence for the effectiveness of non-pharmacological pain treatment modalities (NPMs), little is known about the prevalence or correlates of NPM use.

OBJECTIVE:   This study examined rates and correlates of NPM use in a sample of veterans who served during recent conflicts.

DESIGN:   We examined rates and demographic and clinical correlates of self-reported NPM use (operationalized as psychological/behavioral therapies, exercise/movement therapies, and manual therapies). We calculated descriptive statistics and examined bivariate associations and multivariable associations using logistic regression.

PARTICIPANTS:   Participants were 460 veterans endorsing pain lasting ≥ 3 months who completed the baseline survey of the Women Veterans Cohort Study (response rate 7.7%.

MAIN MEASURES:   Outcome was self-reported use of NPMs in the past 12 months.

KEY RESULTS:   Veterans were 33.76 years old (SD = 10.72), 56.3% female, and 80.2% White. Regarding NPM use,

22.6%   reported using psychological/behavioral,
50.9%   used exercise/movement and
51.7%   used manual therapies.

Veterans with a college degree (vs. no degree; OR = 2.51, 95% CI = 1.46, 4.30, p = 0.001) or those with worse mental health symptoms (OR = 2.88, 95% CI = 2.11, 3.93, p < 0.001) were more likely to use psychological/behavioral therapies.

Veterans who were female (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.43, 0.93, p = 0.02) or who used non-opioid pain medications (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.146, 2.84, p = 0.009) were more likely to use exercise/movement therapies.

Veterans who were non-White (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.5, 0.94, p = 0.03), with greater educational attainment (OR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.42, 3.15, p < 0.001), or who used non-opioid pain medication (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.09, 2.68, p = 0.02) were more likely to use manual therapies.

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Complementary and Integrated Health Approaches

By |May 3, 2019|Alternative Medicine, Veterans|

Complementary and Integrated Health Approaches: What Do Veterans Use and Want

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   J Gen Intern Med. 2019 (Apr 22) [Epub]

Stephanie L. Taylor, PhD, Katherine J. Hoggatt, MPH, and Benjamin Kligler, MD, MPH

Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation,
Implementation and Policy,
Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System,
Los Angeles, CA, USA.


OBJECTIVES:   Non-pharmacological treatment options for common conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and depression are being given increased consideration in healthcare, especially given the recent emphasis to address the opioid crisis. One set of non-pharmacological treatment options are evidence-based complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches, such as yoga, acupuncture, and meditation. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the nation’s largest healthcare system, has been at the forefront of implementing CIH approaches, given their patients’ high prevalence of pain, anxiety, and depression. We aimed to conduct the first national survey of veterans’ interest in and use of CIH approaches.

METHODS:   Using a large national convenience sample of veterans who regularly use the VHA, we conducted the first national survey of veterans’ interest in, frequency of and reasons for use of, and satisfaction with 26 CIH approaches (n = 3346, 37% response rate) in July 2017.

RESULTS:   In the past year, 52% used any CIH approach, with 44% using massage therapy, 37% using chiropractic, 34% using mindfulness, 24% using other meditation, and 25% using yoga. For nine CIH approaches, pain and stress reduction/relaxation were the two most frequent reasons veterans gave for using them. Overall, 84% said they were interested in trying/learning more about at least one CIH approach, with about half being interested in six individual CIH approaches (e.g., massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, and progressive relaxation). Veterans appeared to be much more likely to use each CIH approach outside the VHA vs. within the VHA.

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Differences in Pain-related Characteristics Among Younger

By |July 15, 2018|Veterans|

Differences in Pain-related Characteristics Among Younger and Older Veterans Receiving Primary Care

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Pain Med. 2002 (Jun);   3 (2):   102–107

M. Carrington Reid, PhD, MD Kimberly T. Crone, PhD John Otis, PhD Robert D. Kerns, PhD

Clinical Epidemiology Unit,
VA Connecticut Healthcare System,
West Haven, Connecticut 06516, USA.


Editorial Comment:

The most disturbing comment in this article was:

Furthermore, the vast majority of respondents reported that the pain causing them the most discomfort had been present for years:   Over 90% of all respondents reported a pain duration of greater than 6 months, suggesting that chronic (as opposed to acute) pain conditions are more concerning to veterans receiving primary care.

OBJECTIVES:   To characterize the nature of pain complaints among younger and older veterans receiving primary care, and to determine whether characteristics of pain vary as a function of age.

METHODS:   Primary care patients at a Veterans Affairs medical center were screened for pain prior to a routine office visit, and those who endorsed a concern about pain were given a self-administered questionnaire that inquired about specific characteristics of their pain including site, duration, frequency, and average intensity of the pain.

RESULTS:   Over a 7–month period, 1,290 patients were screened; 641 (50%) reported a concern about pain, and of these, 516 (82%) completed the pain survey. Among younger (age <65 years, N = 191) and older (age > or =65 years, N = 325) respondents, the mean number of sites causing pain was similar (3.6 vs 3.3). Back pain was the most frequently reported site of pain causing the most discomfort among younger (vs older) respondents (31.9% vs 17.8%), whereas older (vs younger) respondents most often endorsed leg pain (32.3% vs 19.9%). The mean duration of pain was not significantly different between older and younger (10.7 vs 10.1 years) respondents; but older (vs younger) respondents were more likely to report constant pain (63.7% vs 46.9%). Using a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale, pain intensity scores were higher among younger (vs older) respondents (5.3 vs 4.3). Rates of prescription pain medication use were not significantly different (52.4% vs 48.0%). Compensation for pain-related disability was more common among younger (vs older) respondents (40.4% vs 19.4%).

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