Articles by JCS

RCS Army

RCS to recruit 'army' of researchers

Will conduct massive global research program

Renowned chiropractic leader David Jackson, DC and two highly respected chiropractic researchers ‑‑ Matthew McCoy, DC and Robert Blanks, PhD ‑‑ have founded a private‑sector research company that will conduct a massive syndromic surveillance project, with vertebral subluxation as the dependant variable. The three formed RCS (Research and Clinical Science) in order to provide the scientific research needed to validate chiropractic as a wellness discipline.

An International Scientific Advisory Panel comprised of DCs, MDs, PhDs, university professors, medical researchers, and other reputable scientists will compile, analyze and interpret the data collected from hundreds of thousands of chiropractic patients around the world. This data will provide answers concerning the direct and distinct correlation between subluxations and states of wellness, stated David Jackson, DC, CEO of the new company.

"There's little doubt that chiropractic is more beneficial for wellness than drugs. Yet, that remains just an opinion without the research to prove it," Dr. Jackson explained. "The data collected by RCS could lead to ground‑breaking and powerful conclusions as to the effect of subluxations and chiropractic on the human nerve system ‑‑ and their repercussions on health."

Applicants are now being accepted for the first of RCS's intensive two‑day training sessions, to be held on the campus of the University of California‑Irvine, for the weekend of April 30‑May 1, 2005.

Doctors who enroll and are accepted into the program pay a fee to participate as an Authorized RCS Research Site for three years.

During the training session, DCs will learn to use the PDA and computer provided by RCS to collect and pool patient data into a central, internet‑based network, to be analyzed by RCS.

RCS also provides all support materials needed to successfully publicize the research effort locally, recruit volunteers, and integrate data into the web‑based research network.

In addition to the RCS training, participants must complete the National Institutes of Health Office of Human Subjects online training course.

With this data, RCS is hoping to formulate the definitive gold standard for lifetime, scientific, subluxation‑based chiropractic care for families and demonstrate the advantages of regular chiropractic care ‑‑ improved function and performance, enhanced immune function, improved quality of life, etc.

RCS will seek publication of seminal studies in key peer‑reviewed scientific journals, and broadly publicize those papers over the internet and through press releases and articles directed at the mainstream print and broadcast media.

"This approach will finally and forever put to rest the objections of those who deny that vertebral subluxation can be defined," explained Dr. Blanks, RCS president.

One of the strengths of this company is that the RCS Board and its International Scientific Advisory Panel is made up of researchers from within and outside of chiropractic who hold impressive credentials.

Dr. McCoy, RCS vice‑president, is one of the founding members of the Council on Chiropractic Practice and has been instrumental in the development of the profession's most widely accepted set of chiropractic guidelines. He's also editor of the <I>Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research<I> and has extensive practice, research and educational experience. He gained international acclaim when he helped introduce chiropractic to the Russian medical community by developing a chiropractic spine treatment, teaching & research center in Vladivostok, Russia. He is currently the Director of Research at Life University.

McCoy's post graduate training covers Applied Chiropractic Science, spinal adjusting technique, spinal trauma, rehabilitation, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Electroneurodiagnostics, Spinal Outcome Assessment, and Impairment Rating. He's a Certified Independent Medical Examiner and a Candidate for Diplomate Status in Applied Chiropractic Science through the International Chiropractors Association. He serves as a member of the WCA Board of Directors, chairs the WCA Chiropractic Advocacy Council and was a liaison member of the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine's Committee on Alternative Medicine.

Dr. Blanks is presently a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Florida Atlantic University. Previously, he was a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine and visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany.

Blanks is on the Advisory Board of the International Spinal Health Institute, a Board Member of the Council on Chiropractic Practice and actively involved in chiropractic research. His list of publishing credits includes 56 manuscripts, 11 books or book chapters, and 82 abstracts. His paper, "A Retrospective Assessment of Network Care Using a Survey of Self‑Rated Health, Wellness and Quality of Life" was the largest, multi‑center study in the history of chiropractic, addressing health‑related quality of life.

The Advisory Panel includes a PhD researcher from the National Cancer Institute, six university professors and assistant professors, a neurology resident at a university hospital, a long term care insurance specialist, and a researcher with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Representing chiropractic on the panel is Christopher Kent, DC, president of the Council on Chiropractic Practice. Dr. Kent was named "Researcher of the Year" by the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) in 1991 and by the World Chiropractic Alliance in 1994. He also received the ICA "Chiropractor of the Year" designation in 1998.

Kent is director of research at and a co‑founder of Chiropractic Leadership Alliance. With Dr. Patrick Gentempo, Jr., he produces a monthly audio series, "On Purpose," covering current events in science, politics and philosophy of vital interest to the practicing chiropractor.

RCS's innovative concept involves training thousands of DCs around the world to recruit volunteers willing to complete a Self Reported Quality of Life (SRQOL) survey and undergo a complimentary chiropractic examination. Doctors input their usual adjusting and patient care procedures into the RCS database via a personalized PDA and computer system supplied by RCS. Volunteers receive a "Vitality Wellness Index" report showing their relative wellness factor compared to all others in the database.

RCS officials hope to use the data to explore specific subluxation‑related issues, including the impact of chiropractic on the human immune system as well as on a broad range of health and wellness concerns. According to Dr. Jackson, some of the questions RCS could explore include how effectly chiropractic can:

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have a positive effect on quality of life

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help reduce the dependency on drugs and hospitalization

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decrease health care spending

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be used in 'stop smoking' efforts

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make anti‑addiction programs more effective

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trigger additional lifestyle changes such as diet or exercise

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strengthen the immune system

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help raise healthier children

"The research will set the 'gold standard' for measuring wellness and it will provide the hard evidence we need to prove to the world that chiropractic has a positive impact on human health and wellness," he noted.

Jackson emphasized that RCS does not focus on any particular technique or philosophical approach. Separate protocol templates have been designed for each chiropractic technique, permitting data from practitioners using each technique to be pooled and analyzed separately.

RCS has also been designed so its web‑based data collection system will be able to interface with most diagnostic tools currently being used in the profession, such as surface EMG, thermography, digital muscle testing, and computerized postural studies, he added.

"We have a crisis in this profession regarding research and the evidence that supports our contentions. We can choose to ignore it until some other profession takes on the responsibility or we can do what needs to be done to start gathering and analyzing the data being generated by thousands of chiropractors every day. RCS fills that need," stated McCoy.

Although the research will greatly benefit the entire profession by silencing the critics who claim it is "unscientific," there are definite advantages for individual doctors who participate in the program.

Many volunteers who receive their free chiropractic evaluation, consultation and report of findings will be introduced to chiropractic and may be interested in continuing as paying patients.

When they choose to continue care, all daily notes and examination results will be analyzed for the duration of their care. They will be asked to fill out an SRQOL survey every 24 visits. There is no obligation for any volunteer to become a paying patient and continue care.

Current patients will also be asked to participate in the research program.

Becoming an Authorized RCS Research Site will also help create greater awareness for the doctor, Jackson noted. In addition to the computer system and PDA, RCS doctors receive all the support materials needed for the program, such as window decals, posters, sample press releases and other tools to help them gain recognition as an Authorized RCS Research Site.

As a result of the RCS public awareness campaign, people around the world will begin seeking out RCS doctors. According to Jackson, "There is a growing recognition of the need for scientific, evidence‑based care. People will look for the RCS logo when they're choosing a DC for themselves or their family. Knowing your 'Vitality Wellness Index' will be as common as knowing your cholesterol level or blood pressure."

To apply or obtain more information about the RCS program, call 800‑909‑1354 (US) or 1‑480‑303‑1694 (outside the US).

 

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