149190 Chiropractic practice in military and veterans' medicine: The state of the literature

Monday, November 5, 2007: 11:10 AM

Bart Green, MSEd, DC , Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy & Chiropractic Department, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA
Claire Johnson, MSEd, DC , Editor, Clinical Professor, National Univerisity of Health Sciences and Southern California University of Health Sciences, Oceanside, CA
Anthony J. Lisi, DC , Chiropractic Department, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT
Background: Chiropractic is a health care benefit for US active duty military personnel and veterans. The benefit is growing, with increasing numbers of chiropractors working in Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and clinics.

Objective: To summarize the literature that describes chiropractic practice, utilization, and policy in active duty and veteran health care environments.

Methods: PubMed, CINAHL, and the Index to Chiropractic Literature were searched from the earliest dates of each database through December 2006. Search terms included ‘chiropractic' in combination with another term, such as ‘military', ‘veteran', ‘soldier', etc. Other searches supplemented the word ‘chiropractic' with ‘alternative medicine' and ‘complementary medicine'. All languages and research designs were included. Additional articles were found by using the ‘related articles' link and by obtaining references identified in articles retrieved.

Results: Fourteen articles were included for final analysis; 4 were authored by 2 chiropractors practicing in the DoD/VA and 1 by chiropractors in a Canadian Forces clinic. Three papers described practice demographics or chiropractic training programs in a military or veteran environment. There were 2 case reports. Five surveys reported utilization rates of chiropractic for active duty personnel and veterans. One paper was a continuous quality improvement study. Three papers were commentaries.

Conclusion: There is a small, but growing, descriptive evidence base to support those working in this environment. Efforts should be focused on clinical research for DoD/VA patient populations and research related to the integration and implementation of chiropractic services.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the status of the literature pertaining to chiropractic care provided in the military and veteran environments. 2. Discuss the need for further health services and experimental research in this area. 3. Identify potential areas for collaborative research.

Keywords: Chiropractic, Veterans' Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.