GOVERNMENT AND RESEARCH STUDIES ON CHIROPRACTIC

GOVERNMENT AND RESEARCH STUDIES ON CHIROPRACTIC

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In recent years, numerous independent researchers and various government agencies have conducted studies which focus on the efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. Several of these important studies are listed below.

U.S. Government Agency Report

A 1994 study published by the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services endorses spinal manipulation for acute low back pain in adults in its Clinical Practice Guideline # 14. An independent multidisciplinary panel of private-sector clinicians and other experts convened and developed specific statements on appropriate health care of acute low back problems in adults. One statement cited, relief of discomfort (low back pain) can be accomplished most safely with spinal manipulation, and/or nonprescription medication.

The Manga Report

A major study to assess the most appropriate use of available health care resources was reported in 1993. This was an outcomes study funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and conducted in hopes of sharing information about ways to reduce the incidence of work-related injuries and to address cost-effective ways to rehabilitate disabled and injured workers. The study was conducted by three health economists led by University of Ottawa Professor Pran Manga, Ph.D. The report of the study is commonly called the Manga Report. The Manga Report overwhelmingly supported the efficacy, safety, scientific validity, and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic for low-back pain. Additionally, it found that higher patient satisfaction levels were associated with chiropractic care than with medical treatment alternatives. ÏEvidence from Canada and other countries suggests potential savings of hundreds of millions annually,Ó the Manga Report states. ÏThe literature clearly and consistently shows that the major savings from chiropractic management come from fewer and lower costs of auxiliary services, fewer hospitalizations, and a highly significant reduction in chronic problems, as well as in levels and duration of disability.Ó

Rand Study on Low Back Pain

A four-phase study conducted in the early 1990s by RAND, one of AmericaÌs most prestigious centers for research in public policy, science and technology, explored many indications of low-back pain. In the RAND studies, an expert panel of researchers, including medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic, found that:

chiropractors deliver a substantial amount of health care to the U.S. population.
spinal manipulation is of benefit to some patients with acute low-back pain.
The RAND reports marked the first time that representatives of the medical community went on record stating that spinal manipulation is an appropriate treatment for certain low-back pain conditions.
The New Zealand Commission Report

A particularly significant study of chiropractic was conducted between 1978-1980 by the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry. In its 377-page report to the House of Representatives, the Commission called its study Ïprobably the most comprehensive and detailed independent examination of chiropractic ever undertaken in any country.Ó The Commission entered the inquiry with Ïthe general impression ... shared by many in the community: that chiropractic was an unscientific cult, not to be compared with orthodox medical or paramedical services.Ó By the end of the inquiry, the commission reported itself Ïirresistibly and with complete unanimity drawn to the conclusion that modern chiropractic is a soundly-based and valuable branch of health care in a specialized area...Ó Conclusions of the CommissionÌs report, based on investigations in New Zealand, the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, stated:

Spinal manual therapy in the hands of a registered chiropractor is safe.
Spinal manual therapy can be effective in relieving musculoskeletal symptoms such as back pain, and other symptoms known to respond to such therapy, such as migraine.
Chiropractors are the only health practitioners who are necessarily equipped by their education and training to carry out spinal manual therapy.
In the public interest and in the interests of patients, there must be no impediment to full professional cooperation between chiropractors and medical practitioners.
Florida Worker's Compensation Study

A 1988 study of 10,652 Florida workersÌ compensation cases was conducted by Steve Wolk, Ph.D. , and reported by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research. It was concluded that Ïa claimant with a back-related injury, when initially treated by a chiropractor versus a medical doctor, is less likely to become temporarily disabled, or if disabled, remains disabled for a shorter period of time; and claimants treated by medical doctors were hospitalized at a much higher rate than claimants treated by chiropractors.

Washington HMO Study

In 1989, a survey administered by Daniel C. Cherkin, Ph.D., and Frederick A. MacCornack, Ph.D., concluded that patients receiving care from health maintenance organizations (HMOs) within the state of Washington were three times as likely to report satisfaction with care from chiropractors as they were with care from other physicians. The patients were also more likely to believe that their chiropractor was concerned about them.

Utah Worker's Compensation Study

A workersÌ compensation study conducted in Utah by Kelly B. Jarvis, D.C., Reed B. Phillips, DC, Ph.D., and Elliot K. Morris, JD, MBA, compared the cost of chiropractic care to the costs of medical care for conditions with identical diagnostic codes. Results were reported in the August 1991 Journal of Occupational Medicine. The study indicated that costs were significantly higher for medical claims than for chiropractic claims; in addition, the number of work days lost was nearly ten times higher for those who received medical care instead of chiropractic care.

Patient Disability Comparison

A 1992 article in the Journal of Family Practice reported a study by DC Cherkin, Ph.D., which compared patients of family physicians and of chiropractors. The article stated Ïthe number of days of disability for patients seen by family physicians was significantly higher (mean 39.7) than for patients managed by chiropractors (mean 10.8).Ó A related editorial in the same issue referred to risks of complications from lumbar manipulation as being Ïvery low".

Oregon Worker's Compensation Study

A 1991 report on a workersÌ compensation study conducted in Oregon by Joanne Nyiendo, Ph.D., concluded that the median time loss days (per case) for comparable injuries was 9.0 for patients receiving treatment by a doctor of chiropractic and 11.5 for treatment by a medical doctor.
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