The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) issued a release on June 20, 2016, with the headline, "New Study Reports Substantial Growth in the Use of Chiropractic Care by the Department of Veterans Affairs." The new study appeared in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT).
The F4CP begins by reporting that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has included chiropractic services as part of the standard medical benefits package offered to all enrolled veterans for more than a decade. The chiropractic care has been available at VA facilities by doctors of chiropractic employed through the VA to offer their services.
As a result, the JMPT study showed a 700 percent increase in chiropractic utilizations over that time period. In the F4CP release, lead author of the JMPT study, Anthony J. Lisi, DC, Director of the VA Chiropractic Program, and Chiropractic Section Chief at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System commented, "Our work shows that VA has steadily and substantially increased its use of chiropractic services each year following their implementation in late 2004."
The study revealed several facts relative to chiropractic utilization at the VA. The number of patients seen yearly in VA chiropractic clinics increased by 821 percent. As a result, the number of chiropractic visits grew by 693 percent annually. Additionally, the total number of VA chiropractic clinics increased by 9 percent each year, and the number of chiropractor employees increased yearly by 21 percent.
Dr. Sherry McAllister, a chiropractor and executive vice president of the F4CP, commented on the study, "The growing utilization of chiropractic services among veterans for pain management and other health concerns, particularly those in the Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and older adult populations, showcases the clear-cut demand for chiropractic care and is a direct reflection of the improved clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction scores that have been documented previously."
The chiropractic VA program was initially mandated by an act of the US Congress. However, the growth of the program was driven by the need for care and the VA responding to that need. Dr. McAllister noted, "We commend VA for its participation in ongoing chiropractic research to help further improve the health and well-being of our respected and valued veterans."