Published on February 20, 2012

Palmer, Genesis Collaborate On Clinical Research

Scientists at the research clinic of the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, 741 Brady St., Davenport, are looking for 120 older adults in the Quad-City area to participate in a ground-breaking study called Collaborative Care for Older Adults (COCOA). People age 65 years or older who have low back pain are invited to participate in this important clinical trial, which will use standard medical and chiropractic treatments for back pain to evaluate an innovative practice model between medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic. Recruitment for the study began last spring.

An estimated 70 to 85 percent of U.S. adults suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, and it is one of the most common reasons for visits to medical physicians. The American public also turns to alternative medicine or integrative providers, such as doctors of chiropractic, for back pain. “Back pain is the most common reason for patient visits to alternative medicine providers and the majority of these visits are to a Doctor of Chiropractic,” said Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., Palmer’s vice chancellor for research and health policy and principal investigator of the study. “Clearly, patients are seeking care from both doctors of chiropractic and medical physicians, but there has been little scientific study of care coordination between these two provider groups for patients with low back pain, and nothing that specifically targets adults above the age of 65.”

Palmer College of Chiropractic received a $1.3 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct this study along with clinicians and researchers at the Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine Residency Program, The University of Iowa and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa.

The long-term goal of this study is to enhance human health by improving quality of care through the use of a comprehensive, feasible, accessible, team-based approach to healthcare delivery for sub-acute and chronic low back pain. Specifically, the study will evaluate the clinical effectiveness of patient-centered models of care between medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic in an older adult population with low back pain. 

Eligible participants may undergo up to 12 weeks of medical or combined medical and chiropractic care for back pain at the Palmer Research Clinic and/or the Genesis Family Medical Center. Anyone interested in participating in the COCOA study should contact the Palmer Research Clinic at (563) 884-5188.

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