It can be interesting to observe the emergence of concepts into mainstream health care.
It can be interesting to observe the emergence of concepts into mainstream health care. Recently, two discussions have become increasingly prevalent in health-care literature – one about the utility of interdisciplinary collaboration, and another about the value of targeted (versus standardized) treatment strategies. Initially, these may appear as very separate realms. But, in fact, they are not so distinct. Although each can result in powerful solutions for patients, together they represent a shift in research and practice that leads to effective clinical care while reducing repeated, and/or unnecessary, steps and thus saving our health system countless dollars.
An example of this can be found in a collaborative study published this year in Nature. The study – carried out by an international, interdisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians – identified distinctive genetic and clinical features of medulloblastoma subtypes in children. This characterization of subtypes led the investigators to suggest that, contrary to the traditional approach of a standardized treatment for these cancers, strategies targeted to inidividuals with specific tumour subtypes could be beneficial. For example, radiation therapy may not, after all, be necessary in all cases. Furthermore, the study revealed links between these cancers and other tumour types and/or conditions, suggesting that harnessing existing drugs – rather than waiting for, and paying for, new drugs to be discovered – may prove useful for some of these patients.
In both research and practice, multidisciplinary teams offer an opportunity to pool a broad range of knowledge and experience. They also allow the luxury of transfering problems outside of one’s scope to another professional who is better equipped to handle that issue. Result? Clinical care can become more individualized, comprehensive and streamlined, leading to increasingly positive and cost-effective outcomes.
Chiropractors already inherently understand the benefits of an individualized, holistic approach. Through enhancing its efforts in research, as well as in working collaboratively with other disciplines, including within biomedicine, the profession can now also harness the benefits of evidence-based, team approaches for its patients. In this issue of Canadian Chiropractor, we will see examples of how research and collaborative initiatives by the profession in Canada are garnering chiropractic more widespread support among other health-care providers and the public. The success of these initiatives also means that chiropractic becomes available to, and accessible for, more Canadians. For those DCs who are not specifically aligned with one of these initiatives, we also present ideas for sharing information with other caregivers who impact patients in your communities. Information exchange, regarding your practice and/or about a co-managed patient, is a sure-fire way of building relationships that will garner a following for the work you do.
The current movement toward establishing collaborative approaches to arrive at more targeted and individualized health care is aligned with already existing elements within the chiropractic paradigm. It is, therefore, exciting to observe how the profession’s initiatives support what is, essentially, a shift for biomedicine. But, this is the power of collaboration, after all – and is, consequently, a good idea whose time has come, for the health of Canadians.
Bien à vous,
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