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More About Back Pain
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Chiropractic Study

A Retrospective Assessment Of
Network Chiropractic Care

Using A Survey Of Self-related Health, Wellness, And Quality Of Life

A Study of Network Patients' Self-reported Outcomes

Blanks, Schuster, Dobson; "A Retrospective Assessment of Network Care Using a Survey of Self-related Health, Wellness, and Quality of Life," Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. 1997: 1 (4)

Conducted within the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, College of Medicine, and the Department of Sociology University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-1275

WHAT IS NETWORK CARE? Network Care utilizes Network Spinal Analysis (NSA), a system of assessing and contributing to spinal and neural integrity, as well as health and wellness. Practitioners employ gentle-force applications to the spine to assist the body in eliminating mechanical tension in the neurological system. The body naturally develops strategies for dissipation of stored tension/energy, thus enhancing self-regulation of these stresses and spinal interferences.

THE STUDY

BACKGROUND

Between November 1994 and April 1995, professional members of the Association for Network Chiropractic participated in a retrospective study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine. The study evaluated a population of over 2800 patients under Network Care in the U.S. and abroad. To date, it represents the largest study assessing the health and wellness benefits of a specific form of chiropractic care.

The study endeavored to bridge two distinct health-evaluation models: the Biomedical model and the Holistic or Wellness model. The Biomedical model considers the symptoms of a person and laboratory test results to assess a condition or disease. The Wellness model considers the individual, his or her extent of function, perceptions, and overall quality of life. An objective of the study was to develop a patient-reported questionnaire to evaluate health and well-being through a wide range of indicators incorporating both models.

The survey established five major categories to investigate and assess these indicators:

  •      Physical State
  •      Mental/Emotional State
  •      Stress Evaluation
  •      Life Enjoyment
  •      Quality of Life

Demographically, the research study demonstrated that Network Care attracts well-educated, highly motivated individuals interested in complementary or holistic care.

RESULTS:       Overall

  • Seventy-six percent (76%) of the patients studied reported improved combined wellness changes in all categories assessed. 
  • An increasing percentage of patients reported progressively greater improvements as a function of duration of care; that is, for the health and wellness categories investigated, there was no "ceiling" to the results over time.
  • The benefits reported by patient respondents were evident among those under care as recent as 1-3 months, to those under care as long as 3+ years.
  •  Ninety-five percent (95%) of respondents reported their expectations had been met.
  • Ninety-nine percent (99%) planned to continue Network Care.

These results led the researchers to conclude that "within the boundaries of this study design, these findings provide substantial evidence that Network Care should be included among those practices with established health benefits."

RESULTS: Specific Indicators Assessed

The five categories addressed, with examples of indicators from each, all showed the following statistically and clinically significant benefits:

PHYSICAL STATE

  •      Less physical pain
  •      Less tension or stiffness of spine
  •      Less fatigue
  •      Improvement in incidences of allergies eczema, and skin rashes
  •      Fewer incidences of colds and flu
  •      Fewer headaches
  •      Less menstrual discomfort

MENTAL / EMOTIONAL STATE

  •      More positive feelings about self
  •      Less moodiness or angry outbursts
  •      Less depression; more interest in life
  •      Improved ability to think and concentrate
  •      Less anxiety and concern about vague fears
  •      Improved ability to stay on task
  •      Less distress about pain

STRESS EVALUATION
Less stress relative to:

  •      Family
  •      Significant relationship
  •      Health
  •      Finances
  •      Work
  •      Daily problems
  •      General well-being

LIFE ENJOYMENT

  •      More openness to guidance by "inner voice/feelings"
  •      Increased experience of relaxation and well-being
  •      Increased interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  •      Increased feelings of openness when relating to others
  •      More confidence when dealing with adversity
  •      Higher level of compassion for/acceptance of others
  •      Increased feelings of joy or happiness

OVERALL QUALITY OF LIFE
Improvement in feelings relative to:

  •      Personal life
  •      Oneself
  •      Significant other
  •      Job
  •      Co-workers
  •      Romantic life
  •      Physical appearance
  •      Adaptability to change
  •      Handling of problems in life
  •      Actual accomplishments in life
  •      Life as a whole

In addition to these categories, there was also a significant increase in health-promoting practices, and a decrease in health-detracting practices.

ONGOING

A longitudinal study to assess practitioners' findings and patients' self-reported health and wellness changes over time has been completed, and findings will be available shortly.

Other research projects from a variety of scientific disciplines are in progress to better understand the benefits and mechanisms underlying the apparent effectiveness of Network Spinal Analysis (NSA). It is hoped that the interdisciplinary relationships established among the chiropractic, medical, basic sciences, and social sciences communities will assist the public in receiving and understanding the benefits of NSA and other evidence-based methods of health and wellness care.

Additionally, papers are in preparation which highlight the "stress busting" nature of Network Spinal Analysis, and the positive benefits for senior citizens. 

REFERENCES

Epstein, D.M. Theoretical Basis and Clinical Application of Network Spinal Analysis (NSA), Longmont, CO, Innate Intelligence, Inc. November 1995.

Epstein, D.M. "Network Spinal Analysis: 

"A System of Health Care Delivery Within the Subluxation-based Chiropractic Model," Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, August 1996: 1 (1) pp.51-59.

Blanks, R.H., Schuster, T.L., Dobson, M.,

"A Retrospective Assessment of Network Care Using a Survey of Self-related Health, Wellness, and Quality of Life," Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 1997: 1 (4) pp.15-31.

INVESTIGATORS

Robert H. I. Blanks, Ph.D.
Tonya L. Schuster, Ph.D.
W. Ralph Boone, Ph.D., D.C.
Marnie Dobson, B.A.

MANY THANKS TO The Association For Network Care, 444 North Main Street, Longmont, CO 80501, Ph. 303-678-8101, Fax 303-678-8089, www.associationfornetworkcare.com

 

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