ICA Submits Comments to AHRQ
January 10, 2018 (Falls Church, VA): The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) has submitted extensive comments on December 26, 2017 to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Comparative Effectiveness Review Draft entitled, “Noninvasive, Nonpharmacological Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review”. The authors of the draft report have a stated goal to use this systematic review to develop better informed guidelines and health policy. The report will become the latest response from an agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services to the federal government’s call for solutions to the chronic pain management crisis that has led to the over prescribing of opioids, addiction, and opioid-related deaths. The full text of the ICA’s comments can be accessed here.
Upon studying the new report, ICA’s Director of Government Relations Beth Clay stated, “While I applaud the effort to gather the evidence on the benefit of non-drug options for pain management, suggesting that this systematic review encompasses the entire universe of non-drug options is misleading. The truth, which ICA pointed out in its submission, is that chiropractic care was not substantially reviewed or considered. While such terms as ‘mind-body’ and ‘acupuncture’ were specifically included, we found that the term ‘chiropractic’ was not included in the search terms used to gather research papers, and appears only once in passing in the more than 200-page report.”
Dr. Stephen Welsh, ICA Vice-President and co-author of the ICA response stated, “It is inconceivable to suggest that 20 different therapies can be comprehensively reviewed with just 200 research papers, which is what occurred for this report. For spinal manipulation, only eight papers were reviewed. ICA continues to engage with policy makers to correct the record and to call for greater inclusion of chiropractic across federal programs. We know that chiropractic care should receive greater promotion as a first line of care for many types of pain and will not sit quietly by if a federal report has inaccuracies or will harm the profession by misrepresenting the research data related to chiropractic care. This country is in a chronic pain management crisis, and our chiropractors are an essential part of the solution.”
Ms. Clay added, “This AHRQ report and the weaknesses of the study design highlight why it is so important for ICA to actively engage with government officials involved in research and health policy. We have a continued need to educate about the profession, advise on on research study design, and policies that affect the chiropractic profession and the millions of patients of all ages who rely on chiropractic as a central part of their personal health care.”
The ICA is the world's oldest, continually operating international chiropractic professional organization representing practitioners, students, chiropractic assistants, educators, and lay persons world-wide. The ICA was founded in 1926 in Davenport, Iowa by Dr. B. J. Palmer. ICA is dedicated to the growth and development of the chiropractic profession based onan enduring commitment to professional and clinical excellence and, the fundamental principle of chiropractic as a unique, separate, distinct, and drugless health care profession.