Practice Based Research

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Our faculty members have performed practice-based projects in which conservative and complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches to care are introduced in health care settings where they have been traditionally unavailable. They also have worked to introduce data collection activities to document outcomes of care in established CAM practices.

Volunteers of American Demonstration Project

Volunteers of America (VOA) is a nonprofit, faith-based social welfare organization. It is one of the nation's largest human service organizations reaching more than two million people in communities across the United States. The services offered by VOA are varied and included services and programs that help frail elderly men and women. This project focused on VOA's elderly services. The primary goal was to determine the feasibility of developing a sustainable and replicable model for integrated chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage services within the VOA system for the purpose of improving VOA residents' overall quality of life.

Status: Complete

Principal Investigator: Kristine Westrom, MD, MS

Funding: Volunteers of America and Northwestern Health Sciences University

Related Publications: Volunteers of America CAM Demonstration Project (pdf) 

Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Data Collection Project

The purpose of this two-phase project was to establish data collection methods, and conduct a prospective study within Northwestern’s Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program. Phase one of the project was to develop a reliable and systematic method for collecting patient self-report data for individuals seeking care from acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. A project team consisting of research faculty, acupuncture/TCM practitioners and clinic staff was formed to assess and develop data collection methods and processes. Focus was placed on four major areas: survey forms, follow-up processes, integration of data collection into clinic flow, and commitment of resources to the project.

Phase two focused on the systematic collection of descriptive and outcomes data using the forms and processes developed in Phase one. Over the course of one year, data were collected from a consecutive prospective series of 485 new patients presenting to the acupuncture TCM teaching clinic at Northwestern. Four-week follow-up data were collected for 86% of participants.

Status: Complete

Principal Investigator: Michele Maiers, DC, MPH,

Funding: Northwestern Health Sciences University

Related Publications:

Maiers M, McKenzie E, Evans R, McKenzie M. The development of a prospective data collection process in a traditional Chinese medicine teaching clinic. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2009;15(3):305-320J.

Maiers M, McKenzie E, Evans R , McKenzie M. Patient outcomes at a TCM teaching clinic: a prospective data collection project. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008;14(9):1083-1088.

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