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CCRF Awards $200,000 to Six Exciting New Research Projects

(TORONTO) October 31, 2023. The Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation (CCRF) is proud to announce $200,000 in new musculoskeletal (MSK) research grants to six Canadian-based research teams.


“This is our eighth Request for Proposals (RFP) and we’re pleased to see the strength and caliber of submissions continue to be very impressive,” says Dr. Richard McIlmoyle, Research Committee chair. “This brings our total number of funded projects to forty in the past three years, representing $1.5 million in grant awards.”


Through the visionary generosity of its donors and partners, CCRF issues semi-annual Requests for Proposals (RFPs); a general call in the spring, followed by a more focused opportunity in the fall. This year, the fall RFP is dedicated to Healthy Aging. With up to $150,000 in funding available, all eligible MSK research teams are invited to apply.


“We look at research through two lenses,” explains Dr. Nadine Ellul, CCRF board chair. “Impact and value. Impact means supporting research which directly affects patient care, professional practice, partnerships and provides insights for payors and policy makers.”


“We also have a duty to our supporters,” she continues, “to invest in meaningful projects with well-reasoned budgets, by encouraging collaborations, in-kind institutional participation and supplementary funding. We’re confident this new series of grants will provide excellent value for all CCRF stakeholders.


CCRF is proud to fund these new projects:


Title: Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying pain relief by spinal manipulative therapy in patients with chronic primary low back pain
Award:  $60,000
Lead: Dr. Mathieu Piché, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR)
Impact: This project will provide groundbreaking data on the neurophysiological mechanisms of pain relief by spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). Identifying the physical and psychological factors of SMT that contribute to the relief of chronic primary lower back pain can position chiropractic as high-value care for this widespread debilitating issue.


Title: An IDEAL-Rehab Framework to guide study design and conduct of rehabilitation interventions
Award:  $7,500
Leads: Dr. Heather Shearer/Dr. Pierre Coté, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
Impact: Chiropractors are ideally positioned to provide clinical/rehabilitative care to minimize pain and its chronicity, as well as improve function and health using these interventions. This project will adapt the IDEAL Framework – which assesses the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions – into a publicly accessible IDEAL-Rehab Framework for researchers, clinicians and policy makers to facilitate evidence-based rehabilitation delivered by chiropractors and other Canadian providers.


Title: A community-based knowledge translation project to move current pain theory to practice
Award:  $15,000
Leads: Dr. Peter Stilwell/Dr. Sabrina Coninx, McGill University, University of Southern Denmark, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Impact: This multi-site collaboration builds on previously funded studies and will produce a high-impact paper and resources (e.g., information sheet, infographic, educational video) for MSK-based clinicians, including chiropractors, on the enactive approach to pain. To do this, the team will define and describe key ideas and concepts so they are clear and clinically accessible. They will also create a robust research agenda for future theoretical and empirical research.


Title: Untangling the association between burden of chronic back pain problems, current utilization of chiropractic care, and availability of chiropractors at the health region level: ecological study
Award:  $65,000
Leads: Dr. Dan Wang/Dr. Pierre Côté, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
Impact: This study will inform chiropractic policy-makers, government and payers about the role chiropractors can play in Canadian healthcare systems. Designed in collaboration with CCA and provincial associations and using high-quality regional data sets, this project will determine and map the prevalence of chronic back pain, chiropractic utilization and chiropractic availability across the country.


Title: Symptom change, including adverse events following chiropractic care during pregnancy: a feasibility study
Award:  $30,000
Leads: Dr. Carol Ann Weis/Dr. Katherine Pohlman, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, and Parker University
Impact: While many pregnant women seek chiropractic treatment, they are underrepresented in research. This observational cohort study aims to describe 1) the conditions with which pregnant patients present to chiropractic offices; 2) the type of treatments used in real time to treat the pregnant population; 3) the change in symptoms experienced by these patients after a chiropractic visit; and 4) the frequency and severity of worsening/new symptoms following a chiropractic treatment.


Title: Do methodological trade-offs used to conduct rapid reviews of the literature lead to biased results and conclusions compared to systematic reviews?
Award:  $22,500
Leads: Dr. Melissa Macmillan/Dr. Pierre Côté, University of Ontario Institute Of Technology
Impact: The use of rapid reviews within an evidence-informed policy framework places the chiropractic profession as leaders and can improve the practice of chiropractic and the safety of patients. This project is the first to investigate methodological trade-offs of rapid reviews related to rehabilitation and lead to a greater understanding of the evidence syntheses generated by them and their use by health policy decisionmakers with the aim of helping to improve MSK health by clinicians and organizations, including chiropractic associations and Colleges.

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