Key Learnings: The CCOA Webinar Series

The CCOA Webinar Series is designed to provide a look at current trends, issues, and opportunities associated with being a regulated member of the CCOA. This is part of the CCOA's commitment to furthering the knowledge of regulated members, and providing safe, competent, and ethical care to patients.

In our second webinar of the series, Dr. Stephen Passmore, Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba and CCOA Registrar, Dr. Todd Halowski, discussed the following key learnings.

The Role of Evidence for the Chiropractic Profession

To open his presentation, Dr. Passmore discussed the correlation of evidence to truth. Starting from the root word, Dr. Passmore defined truth as the "real things" about a subject and evidence as "the available body of facts to show something to be true." As this relates to the chiropractic profession, Dr. Passmore tied truth to a patient's trust in their practitioner and emphasized the pursuit of truth leads to a stronger bond of trust between patient and chiropractor. How does one further truth? By finding evidence. How does one find evidence? Research. The research was defined as a careful study to find and report new knowledge on something. Dr. Passmore further elaborated on this point: by utilizing research, one finds evidence; by using evidence-based practices, one strengthens the relationship of trust in the healthcare being delivered.

"Bricks" of evidence, building a foundation of knowledge

"What I like to do is … think of evidence … like little bricks," Dr. Passmore explained. "We can have those bricks and hold them in our hands and show them to other people. Maybe together we can build something strong.." Where does this evidence come from? Dr. Passmore explained that researchers and research institutions, like the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation (CCRF) funded professors at the University of Manitoba, are the "brick builders," with each study conducted being "like a little brick" of evidence. In order to be published, each study must be scrutinized for quality control by the peer reviewers of that journal.

Although Dr. Passmore may have "built over 50 bricks" in his career, he explains that 50 is not enough for the profession. However, practitioners can look at the pooled efforts of CCRF researchers across Canada at many major universities and realize they have generated more than 1,444 peer-reviewed research publications for the practitioner to build their practice. Dr. Passmore is aware the average practitioner may struggle to find studies for their evidence-based practice but explains the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative (CCGI)website has these resources at no charge A practitioner can visit the CCGI website and click on “Clinician and Patient Resources.” It will show a list of different musculoskeletal conditions to click on, which gives a systematic review as well as advisement on treatment regarding this condition.

"It provides specific exercise videos and forms, [as well as] outcome measures so that you can document a person's course of care and make evidence-informed decisions about how they're responding to care. You can listen to some podcasts just for your own general knowledge, and you can learn more about virtual care as well, if that's something that interests you, because there's a lot of rural and remote communities that don't have a chiropractor." Dr. Passmore explains.

Creating a network of care

"Can you imagine if every person on this call pulled the data of every patient that walked through the door of their clinical practice? We would be able to learn so much about who is responding to (sic) and responding to care," Dr. Passmore asked the audience. "What kinds of techniques are they responding to? Who's not responding to care? We need to support and conduct research on the questions that we identify as important to our profession and as clinically important to our patients."

"It's through research evidence (that) we can communicate what we know to be true to our patients, our colleagues, and other healthcare professions. We can communicate the truth to the government and other stakeholders, like insurance companies and worker compensation boards. It's through research that we can find the truth of the day and what is working and what is not, what we're doing well and, potentially, where we need to change."

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