Chiropractic Care for Veterans: A pragmatic Randomized Trial Addressing Dose Effects for cLBP

Co-Principal Investigators:

Christine Goertz, DC, PhD

Cynthia Long, PhD

Institution: Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Palmer College of Chiropractic

Institute Providing Oversight: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Program Officer: Merav Sabri, (NIH)

Project Scientist: Lisa Begg, National Institute of Health, Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) Identifier: Not Yet Available

Trial Status: Currently in planning.

Project Summary:

The prevalence of low back pain (LBP) among U.S. adults is estimated at 20%, and 23% of LBP patients report pain of high intensity with disability. The greatest burden placed on society occurs when LBP becomes chronic (cLBP). Given their high rates of musculoskeletal disease, cLBP-related disability is rampant within our nation’s Veteran population. The combination of cLBP and high medication use negatively impacts Veterans’ work productivity and quality of life, and generates substantial risk for long-term disability and opioid addiction. There is arguably no more important population than Veterans for performing research to evaluate effective non-pharmacological treatments that are safe, pain relieving, cost-effective, and contain promise to restore function and quality of life. One such option is chiropractic care. Studies examining the delivery of chiropractic interventions have been highly variable and there is no optimal “dosing” in terms of treatment duration or number of visits.

The VERDICT project will evaluate patient and clinician perceptions of non-specific treatment factors, effectiveness of study interventions, and impact of the varying doses of standard chiropractic care and chronic pain management on clinical outcomes across 3 VA facilities using a mixed method, process evaluation approach.