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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 6, 2004, Vol. 22, Issue 10

ACC-RAC 2004: The "Best Practices" of Chiropractic

By James Harrison
For the third consecutive year, chiropractic education and research shared a single stage, as the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) conducted its 11th annual meeting in conjunction with the 9th annual Research Agenda Conference (RAC). A diverse roster of speakers addressed the record 400 attendees at this year's event, held March 11-14 at the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas.

The Bureau of Health Professions of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration; the ACC; and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, through the Consortial Center for Chiropractic Research (CCCR) sponsored the 2004 conference, which featured "Best Practices" as its theme.

Murray Goldstein, DO, MPH, delivered the keynote speech: "To Make A Difference." The medical director and COO of the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation outlined the progress of research in defining spinal manipulative therapy. The audience also welcomed Dr. Eldon Tunks, a Canadian psychiatrist whose talk focused on the growing significance of evidence-based guidelines within the framework of health care. John Triano, DC, PhD, continued the dialogue with "What Constitutes Evidence for Best Practice?"

Subjects discussed at the conference fit well into the "best practices" model, defined by the ACC-RAC as "... not a rigid adherence to strict guidelines or standards, but an attempt to synthesize the best evidence and clinical experience using good clinical reasoning, to arrive at the best possible decisions for patients in their unique circumstances."

Conference Chair Frank Zolli, DC, EdD, explained that this year's theme was selected to "bring the academic audience of chiropractic practitioners, college faculty, staff and administrators up to speed in this evolving field."

Jean Moss, DC, president of the ACC and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, noted the amount of information available: "The program also provided for 14 invited-speaker breakout sessions, ranging from best practices in Navy health care facilities to research on the differences between mobilization and manipulation, 38 contributed platform presentations of original research, and a session to view 78 posters of original research and scholarship."

A particularly important aspect of research addressed this year was publishing. Dana Lawrence, DC, outgoing managing editor of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, spoke on "Writing Scientific Publications," and FCER Director of Research and Education Anthony Rosner, PhD, discussed "Critical Appraisal of the Literature." Additional topics ranged from "Results and Clinical Relevance of Basic Science Research," to the session, "Low Back Pain in Hispanic Residential Carpenters: Job Task Variables and Personal Risk Factors."

Paper sessions presented a wide array of topics related to chiropractic research, education and technique, such as high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation; back pain in pregnant women; treating adolescent scoliosis patients; and graduate student performance.

Moderators included Drs. Robert Mootz: "Do We Really Need Best Practices?"; Scott Haldeman: "Results and Clinical Relevance of Basic Science Research"; William Meeker: "Current Evidence from Clinical Research"; Thomas Souza: "Practice, Economics and Epidemiology; and Ed Owens: "Clinical Research."

The 2005 ACC-RAC is scheduled for March 17-19 in Las Vegas. For more information, visit the CCCR Web site:

Jim Harrison, associate editor


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