The closest chiropractic colleges previously came to federal research dollars was the pilot study approved by the Rehabilitation Research and Development Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Three of the four investigators were associated with National College of Chiropractic (see "VA Funds Cervical Diagnostic Pilot Study," Oct. 23, 1992 issue of "DC").
Joanne Nyiendo, PhD, who directs research at Western States, is the principal investigator of the project. Co-investigating is Bruce Goldberg, MD, assistant professor in the department of family medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University. Additional participants include 34 university physicians, 77 community-based MDs, 60 DCs, and six nurse practitioners.
The three year study, which began September 1st, will enroll 4,352 patients, and will identify practice activities associated with the most and least favorable outcomes for specific patient profiles.
According to Dr. Nyiendo, plans for this study at Western States have been in the works for three years. Three pilot studies were conducted in chiropractic offices to test the logistics of the protocol and to monitor patient, staff, and physician compliance. In 1993 a feasibility study funded by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) and the National Institute for Chiropractic Research was undertaken with Oregon Health Sciences University and physician volunteers. The study tested Western State's ability to undertake practice-based outcomes research in the offices of MDs, and explored the feasibility of accessing cost data from the providers. Based on the findings of the feasibility study, nine scientific presentations have been given, including those made to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Conference on Primary Care, the North American Primary Care Research Group, and the American Public Health Association.
The 1994 recipient of FCER's "Researcher of the Year Award," Dr. Nyiendo is vice president of the Consortium for Chiropractic Research, and was awarded a World Health Organization study fellowship in 1986. She also served as the principal investigator and project director for the first study undertaken by the Consortium, a comparison of low back patients attending the six West Coast chiropractic college teaching clinics.
Anthony Rosner, PhD, director of research at FCER, characterized the grant as groundbreaking for chiropractic and said such alliances between DCs and MDs are in the best interests of patients.
Western States President Dr. William Dallas praised Dr. Nyiendo for her years of dedication to the project. He added his support for what he termed the "new level of interprofessional cooperation between the medical and chiropractic research communities," and further collaborative efforts to determine what is best for patients.