FCER Awards Grant to Western States

By Editorial Staff
The Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) has awarded the Western States Chiropractic College (WSCC) Center for Outcomes Studies a $150,000 grant. The funds will be dispersed over a three-year period and support in part the study, "Low Back Pain: Practice Activities and Patient Outcomes," currently in progress and funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The funds will also be used to establish the core of a multidisciplinary, practice-based research network.

The new research network will be designed to produce a group of health care professionals (chiropractors, family medicine physicians, internists, and nurse practitioners) who will conduct research to investigate health care effectiveness, and who will contribute to health care policy and practice standards by providing data on patient outcomes and practice patterns.

Program director Joanne Nyiendo, PhD, cited as a key component the collaboration already in place between WSCC, Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, and medical and chiropractic physicians in the community. Building on these relationships, the proposed network will provide an efficient means of conducting multiple research projects.

Dr. Nyiendo commented that the network has the potential to transform the way health care research is being conducted: "It will serve as an instrument of change by promoting cooperation with other health care providers, and ultimately, reducing professional isolation. Practicing physicians will be socialized in a research culture, increasing both the number of researchers in the primary care setting and our research capacity. Clinicians will learn to be mentors in research and the college and network participants will become more competitive in grantsmanship."

The WSCC Center for Outcomes Studies is currently developing projects that can be carried out in a network of primary care practices. According to Dr. Nyiendo, "The benefits of these studies are abundant. The data can be used to help patients, improve clinical practice, influence decisions about reimbursement policies, develop needed databases, and help shape health care policy."

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