BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Two studies currently being conducted by the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies at Northwestern Health Sciences University have recruited more than 75 percent of their patients for the studies.
One study, on chiropractic and self-care for back-related leg pain, has recruited nearly 90 percent of its patient volunteers. According to Roni Evans, DC, MS, dean of research at Northwestern, 173 of the approximately 200 volunteers have been recruited. "We have done very well in recruiting participants," she notes.
The study is funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for approximately $2.4 million. "Our goal is to finish recruitment by May 2009, and complete the long-term follow-up on all patients by June 2010." says Craig Schulz, DC, MS, clinical research faculty.
According to Dr. Schulz, this is a two-site study with recruitment, treatment, and data collection occurring at the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies and at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Iowa, with two-thirds of the patients being treated at Northwestern and one-third at Palmer.
The Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies is looking for 45 more subjects to participate in a study on Integrative Care for Low Back Pain. "So far we have had an overwhelmingly positive response to our recruitment efforts," says Claire Legendre, project manager for the Integrative Care for Low Back Pain study. Recruitment is expected to be completed in the spring or summer of 2009, with 200 participants total.
In the Integrative Care for Low Back Pain study, participants are randomly assigned to receive individualized treatment from either chiropractors or a multidisciplinary team of providers, according to Legendre. The integrative care regimen may involve chiropractic care, exercise therapy, acupuncture, Oriental medicine, massage therapy, medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or self-care education. Each subject will receive 12 weeks of treatment.
The study is being funded through a $1.2 million grant provided by the U.S. Health Services and Resources Administration. Northwestern was notified of the financial award for the study in the fall of 2006, and began enrolling participants in May 2007. After recruitment goals are met, data collection will continue for an additional year.
"Low back pain is a very common condition," says Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, one of the primary investigators in the Integrative Care for Low Back Pain study. "We have hypothesized that individuals with low back pain have better outcomes with multi-disciplinary treatment over a single therapy alone." Although the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies has conducted previous studies on chiropractic care and low back pain, this is the first study to incorporate an integrative approach.
Northwestern Health Sciences University offers a wide array of choices in natural health care education including chiropractic, Oriental medicine, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and human biology. The University has nearly 900 students on a 25-acre campus in Bloomington, Minnesota.