2021 – A round up…

What a year that was! 

Whilst still suffering ongoing disruption from Covid-19, we were delighted to see things begin to ‘get back to normal’ in 2021, with our researchers juggling their time between their research studies and their academic and clinical commitments. We’re impressed by their ability to multitask! 

Marc Sanders, a clinical researcher undertaking a PhD, made significant headway during 2021 with his studies. Funded by the CRC, Marc is exploring the implementation of chiropractic care into the wider healthcare setting, and has been investigating the opportunities and challenges that are faced both nationally and internationally. Marc is keen to hear of people’s personal experiences working within, or alongside the NHS, either now or in the past, so please, send him an email! (m.w.sanders@soton.ac.uk)

PhD researchers Michelle Holmes and Amy Miller are well underway with CRUNCh, a project investigating the implementation of a UK chiropractic practice-based research network (PBRN). Common-place in the wider healthcare community, PBRNs facilitate the collection of clinical data on a large scale, so-called ‘big data’, and enable the dissemination of research findings. Amy and Michelle have been exploring several well-established PBRNs within the international chiropractic community (e.g. Canada, Australia), learning from the challenges and opportunities that they have faced. Amy and Michelle are currently interviewing chiropractic clinicians who might wish to participate within the UK PBRN, e.g. how to best collect clinical day, recruit and incentivise subjects – so do get in touch! (amiller@aecc.ac.uk)

It seems a long time since the majority of UK chiropractors were forced to move their hands-on practice to virtual telehealth consultations during the 1st lockdown of 2020. Whilst many of us were thrown into disarray, our dedicated researchers (all of whom had also had their lives turned upside down, losing the ability to collect clinical data) seized the unexpected opportunity and conducted some rapid studies into the use of telehealth within the chiropractic setting. We were delighted to see publication of this work in 2021 in the prestigious Chiropractic and Manual Therapies. Congratulations to researchers Shane Derbyshire, Jonathan Field*, Jane Vennick, Marc Sanders* and Dave Newell*. https://chiromt.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12998-021-00404-2?fbclid=IwAR3pqHi0OMJ_aPt0X_kmi9Uk6Ht1pUCLHNFXnnA6jO6fNg5dRcC6EnMTql8

In October 2021 we saw the ‘Southampton Initiative’ brought to a close. Established in 2017 in order to develop UK chiropractic research capacity in a well-established, multidisciplinary MSK research setting, the initiative provided funding for the posts of Senior Research Fellow (Dave Newell), Visiting Research Fellow (Jonathan Field), and most recently, PhD student (Marc Sanders). Embedded within the Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton this initiative provided our chiropractic researchers with a unique opportunity to work alongside distinguished healthcare professionals and clinical researchers, and participate in some large interdisciplinary research activities, (including publications into chronic pain and studies into contextual factors in care), as well as conduct their own studies into implementation of chiropractic care and perceptions of chiropractic care. We look forward to reading reports of these studies in 2022.  

We said goodbye and thank you to Richard Brown, who stepped down as a Trustee at the end of November. It was Richard’s vision for building sustainable chiropractic research capacity for the benefit of UK chiropractic patients and the public that led to the inception of the CRC in 2013. Richard has been a committed to the CRC since and we are hugely grateful to his valued contribution over the years. Obviously ongoing thanks to our remaining Trustees and members of the Scientific Committee – without their generous time and expertise the CRC wouldn’t be able to continue with its work!

With Richard’s departure, we’re looking to expand our Board of Trustees, and would love to hear from people with experience in research, education, charitable organisations and fundraising. Please send your CV and covering letter, explaining how you might expand and develop UK chiropractic research capacity.

Our continued thanks to the BCA Members for their generous contribution to our research activities by way of an annual levy of £50, collected on behalf of the membership by the British Chiropractic Association. Paused in 2020 in order to alleviate the financial burden placed on BCA members by Covid-19, we were delighted that the levy was reinstated, in full, at the start of 2021. 

Not a BCA member but still want to support research? No problem! It’s really quite simple – you can make a one-off donation to the CRC by way of a BACS payment, or set up a monthly standing order. We’ve also got charity boxes that you can use in clinic, or you can raise money for free whenever you shop online – either through AmazonSmile or Easyfundraising – simply choose ‘Chiropractic Research Council’ and get shopping! 

With 2021 now behind us we’re looking forward to more exciting activities in 2022. Hopefully we’ll see many of the activities supported by the CRC reinstated after they were paused due to Covid-19, e.g. the Programme for Early Researchers in Chiropractic (which supports new chiropractic graduates over a summer research internships), and the Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership, (an international mentorship programme for early career PhD students). We’re also very excited to be launching a new funding initiative, supporting PhD students over the next 5 years – watch this space for further details and the call for applications! 

And hopefully we’ll all be able to meet up in person again – meeting up and sharing research ideas and initiatives at national and international events. In the meantime, thank you all for your ongoing support, and best wishes for a very happy and healthy 2022!