The Chiropractic Hospital-Based Interventions Research Outcomes (CHIRO) Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effectiveness of Clinical Practice Guidelines in the Medical and Chiropractic Management of Patients with Acute Mechanical Lower Back Pain
Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the management of patients with acute mechanical low back pain (AM-LBP) have been defined on an international scale. Multicenter clinical trials have demonstrated that most AM-LBP patients do not receive CPG-based treatments. To date, the value of implementing full and exclusively CPG-based treatment remains unclear.
To determine if full CPGs-based study care (SC) results in greater improvement in functional outcomes than family physician-directed usual care (UC) in the treatment of AM-LBP.
A two-arm, parallel design, prospective, randomized controlled clinical trial using blinded outcome assessment. Treatment was administered in a hospital-based spine program outpatient clinic.
Inclusion criteria included patients aged 19 to 59 years with Quebec Task Force Categories 1 and 2 AM-LBP of 2 to 4 weeks' duration. Exclusion criteria included "red flag" conditions and comorbidities contraindicating chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (CSMT).
Primary outcome: improvement from baseline in Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ) scores at 16 weeks. Secondary outcomes: improvements in RDQ scores at 8 and 24 weeks; and in Short Form-36 (SF-36) bodily pain (BP) and physical functioning (PF) scale scores at 8, 16, and 24 weeks.
Patients were assessed by a spine physician, then randomized to SC (reassurance and avoidance of passive treatments, acetaminophen, 4 weeks of lumbar CSMT, and return to work within 8 weeks), or family physician-directed UC, the components of which were recorded.
Ninety-two patients were recruited, with 36 SC and 35 UC patients completing all follow-up visits. Baseline prognostic variables were evenly distributed between groups. The primary outcome, the unadjusted mean improvement in RDQ scores, was significantly greater in the SC group than in the UC group (p=.003). Regarding unadjusted mean changes in secondary outcomes, improvements in RDQ scores were also greater in the SC group at other time points, particularly at 24 weeks (p=.004). Similarly, improvements in SF-36 PF scores favored the SC group at all time points; however, these differences were not statistically significant. Improvements in SF-36 BP scores were similar between groups. In repeated-measures analyses, global adjusted mean improvement was significantly greater in the SC group in terms of RDQ (p=.0002), nearly significantly greater in terms of SF-36 PF (p=.08), but similar between groups in terms of SF-36 BP (p=.27).
This is the first reported randomized controlled trial comparing full CPG-based treatment, including spinal manipulative therapy administered by chiropractors, to family physician-directed UC in the treatment of patients with AM-LBP. Compared to family physician-directed UC, full CPG-based treatment including CSMT is associated with significantly greater improvement in condition-specific functioning.
"Six singly recommended articles address interdisciplinary clinical decision-making for the care of patients with low back pain [40-42,50,59,72], while two texts highlight treatment approaches to neck pain and related conditions [45,55]. Five articles report findings from clinical trials of manual therapies or spinal manipulation [43,46,53,57,60], while three other papers discuss either ineffective applications, [47,65] or common side effects of manipulation . Lastly, nine articles demonstrate chiropractic research priorities [30,73,74], analyze health policy issues for the chiropractic profession [14,51,69], or discuss evidence-based practice concepts for doctors and students of chiropractic [67,70,71]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence-based clinical practice (EBCP) is an accepted practice for informed clinical decision making in mainstream health care professions. EBCP augments clinical experience and can have far reaching effects in education, policy, reimbursement and clinical management. The proliferation of published research can be overwhelming-finding a mechanism to identify literature that is essential for practitioners and students is desirable. The purpose of this study was to survey leaders in the chiropractic profession on their opinions of essential literature for doctors of chiropractic, faculty, and students to read or reference.
Deployment of an IRB exempted survey occurred with 68 academic and research leaders using SurveyMonkey®. Individuals were solicited via e-mail in August of 2011; the study closed in October of 2011.
Forty-three (43) individuals consented to participate; seventeen (17) contributed at least one article of importance. A total of 41 unique articles were reported. Of the six articles contributed more than once, one article was reported 6 times, and 5 were reported twice.
A manageable list of relevant literature was created. Shortcomings of methods were identified, and improvements for continued implementation are suggested. A wide variety of articles were reported as "essential" knowledge; annual or bi-annual surveys would be helpful for the profession.
Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 09/2013; 21(1):33. DOI:10.1186/2045-709X-21-33
"A study conducted by Bishop et al. provides some support for the use of a multi-modal guidelines-based plan in treating low back pain
. They compared the outcomes of multi-modal guidelines-based care, which included a chiropractor delivering manipulative care, to that of primary care physician-directed usual care. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Tracking how clinicians treat patients provides an opportunity to explore how the clinical management of common musculoskeletal disorders evolves over time. We present an uncontrolled before-after study of a primary care physician’s management of low back pain and describe how his involvement in an interprofessional collaborative practice was associated with a change in the management of patients with low back pain.
Data from the electronic medical record of one primary care physician who participated in a study of a model of chiropractic-medical collaboration were retrospectively collected. Records of a sample of consecutive patients prior to the start (i.e. pre-study, n = 51) and at the end of the collaborative study (i.e. study, n = 49) were collected.
Demographics were similar in both groups but median number of physician visits (2.5 and 1.0), average prescriptions per patients (1.24 and 0.47), and total number of narcotic prescriptions (14 and 6) differed between pre-study and study groups, respectively. Separate analysis of only the records of low back pain study patients revealed that 61% were referred for chiropractic care during the study period. Patients who were not referred had more neurological deficits and leg pain but back pain severity and average number of prescriptions was about the same. Referred patients in the study group had about 25% fewer physician visits and imaging requests.
Based on this study of a single primary care physician, we hypothesize that doctors may change their prescribing behaviours and consultation rate for patients with low back pain when engaged in interprofessional collaborative care. Further research is required to test this observation in the population.
Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 02/2013; 21(1):6. DOI:10.1186/2045-709X-21-6
"The World Federation of Chiropractic  may be well placed to facilitate this process and ensure that collaborative models exist internally as well as externally. Similarly, the production of consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines demonstrate a commitment to quality patient care and a profession supportive of research-driven, evidence-based practice [68-70]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are a number of factors that have conspired to create a crisis in healthcare. In part, the successes of medical science and technologies have been to blame, for they have led to survival where lives would previously have been cut short. An informed public, aware of these technological advances, is demanding access to the best that healthcare has to offer. At the same time the burden of chronic disease in an increasing elderly population has created a marked growth in the need for long term care. Current estimates for expenditure predict a rapid escalation of healthcare costs as a proportion of the GDP of developed nations, yet at the same time a global economic crisis has necessitated dramatic cuts in health budgets. This unsustainable position has led to calls for an urgent transformation in healthcare systems.
This commentary explores the present day healthcare crisis and looks at the opportunities for chiropractors as pressure intensifies on politicians and leaders in healthcare to seek innovative solutions to a failing model. Amidst these opportunities, it questions whether the chiropractic profession is ready to accept the challenges that integration into mainstream healthcare will bring and identifies both pathways and potential obstacles to acceptance.
Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 12/2012; 20(1):37. DOI:10.1186/2045-709X-20-37
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