ACORN Project Update

Range of Research Outputs and Research Capacity Building Achieved to Date

AcornProjectUpdateThe ACORN project continues to make excellent progress over recent months. The energy and commitment of the 2,005 chiropractors who completed the baseline survey and the 1,680 chiropractors who have joined the ACORN practice-based research network (PBRN) has provided a solid platform for a range of publications, sub-study initiatives and extensive research capacity building in Australian chiropractic and beyond.    

To date, the ACORN PBRN has generated a total of 12 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Of these, three papers have been published (Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine), three papers are under final editorial revision and/or submitted (including BMJ Open and Chiropractic and Manual Therapy) and four papers are in preparation/final draft.

All the published ACORN papers below can be accessed via the internet for free (Open Access):

    • Adams J, Steel A, Chang S, Sibbritt D. (2015), Helping Address the National Research and Research Capacity Building Needs of Australian Chiropractic: Introducing the ACORN Project. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 23:12.  
    • Adams J, Steel A, Moore C, Amorin-Woods L, Sibbritt D. (2016), Establishing the ACORN National Practitioner Database: Strategies to Recruit Practitioners to a National Practice-Based Research Network. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 39(8): 594-602.  (Impact Factor 1.647).
    • Adams J, Lauche R, Peng W, Steel A, Moore C, Amorin-Woods L, Sibbritt D. (2017), A Workforce Survey of Australian Chiropractic: The Profile and Practice Features of a Nationally Representative Sample of 2,005 Chiropractors BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 17:14. (Impact Factor 2.288).

Overall, the ACORN manuscripts provide empirical insight into the following issues:

    • Chiropractic workforce and professional development issues
    • Approach to and use of nutritional advice as part of chiropractic patient management
    • Chiropractic management for patients presenting with sports or athletics injuries/complaints
    • Chiropractic management of older adults
    • Rural/urban chiropractic care and practice characteristics
    • Grass-roots relationship between chiropractors and other healthcare providers including medical practitioners
    • Chiropractic management of patients presenting with low back pain and referred/radicular pain
    • Chiropractic management of patients presenting with headaches

To date, ACORN has also attracted eight sub-studies involving over 20 researchers and collaborators from across six countries. Of these eight ACORN sub-studies, three have been approved by the ACORN Steering Committee and have been conducted/are being conducted, with another five currently under review and soon due to be approved by the Committee.

The current ACORN sub-studies are focused upon a range of issues/topics including:

    • The approach to and use of nutritional advice as part of chiropractic patient management
    • The chiropractic management of patients presenting with headaches
    • The chiropractic management of older adults presenting with neck pain
    • The engagement with, use and perspective of chiropractic research by chiropractors
    • The interface between chiropractors and Australian Workers Compensation Scheme
    • The use of non-thrust mobilisation of the cervical spine by chiropractors for neck pain
    • The approach to clinical uncertainty amongst chiropractors

The manuscripts and sub-studies have attracted collaboration and co-authorship from over 30 researchers/academics and practitioners to date with the representation including:

    • University of Technology Sydney
    • University of Sydney
    • Macquarie University
    • Murdoch University
    • RMIT University
    • University of South Australia
    • University of Newcastle
    • University of Southern Denmark
    • University of Alberta, Canada
    • Karolinska Institute, Sweden
    • Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    • Barker University, US
    • Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres, Canada

Please do keep visiting the ACORN website for regular updates and news items.

Thank you to all those who have provided their valuable time and energy in participating in ACORN to date.