John Weeks April 2013 Integrator Round-up covering the topic of Integratve Healthcare Research Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research: 2012 Report

The 2012 annual report from the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research describes a robust practice including 17 active grants. The Palmer team published 29 peer-reviewed articles in 19 journals in 2012. Among these was a significant article that suggests that adults 18-35 with acute low back pain are better off with chiropractic manipulative therapy and standard medical care than those without CMT. Another was the influential, multi-organizational trial using Medical Expenditure Survey data that found lower expenditures among complementary and alternative medicine users with neck and back pain. The stamp on the work is that of health services researcher Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, Palmer’s vice chancellor for research and health policy. In the report’s opening message, Goertz declares for the health services orientation that earned her a position on the Board of Governors of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute: “The current era of health care reform is an exciting time to be a scientist as we search for new approaches to health delivery that increase quality and decrease costs.”

Comment: An informal analysis last year showed that from 1999-2010, Palmer received roughly a third of all NIH NCCAM funds to a “CAM” school. (See “ACCAHC reports that CAM schools received just 4.6% of NCCAM’s $1.29-billion between 1999-2010” on this page.) Bastyr represents another third. If NCCAM upped that percentage to 10%-15% we might see reports like this from a half-dozen institutions. And if these, like’s Palmer, were directed with a real world focus, some significant contributions would be accruing annually to the healthcare community. For now, Palmer is an exception. Credit Goertz, her predecessor as Palmer’s lead, William  Meeker, DC, MPH (now president of Palmer West), and the college for which they work for the commitment.