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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA June 2013
74 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 43 Number 2 June 2013 by others. The following is required for our research to grow: a. Team space. A physical location needs to be large enough to hold an entire research group. This creates a vibrant and productive atmosphere where meetings and training sessions stimulate project movement and academic development. b. Resources. As one example, with the advent of e-Epidemiology many of the resources required are things like electronic data capture systems and mobile devices which push and pull information through smartphones and email. This enables large scale and high impact research at a relatively low cost. These methods further require secure data storage arrangements. c. Collaboration networks. There is everything to be gained by casting a broad (inter-professional) research network. Research networks are ideally symbiotic where mutually benefcial information gathering and sharing results in research production beyond the capacity of the individual or research group alone. It can be an extremely fast method of growth especially if the smaller party is committed to fulflling its commitments to the network in a noteworthy and timely fashion. d. Professional support. Yet another symbiotic relationship is that of the professions members and the academic community. Presumably, chiropractors want research to inform their clinical curiosities. Academics require participants to observe, interventions to evaluate, and practitioners to inform and implement their research protocols. 3. Commit for the long-term. Chiropractors currently in practice and academics alike must be committed to helping sustain the role we all play in healthcare. Central to this role is recognising that research infuences the practice of Chiropractic on many levels. Governmental policy, clinical practice guidelines, and ultimately patient care are all informed by research. In this context, the Australian chiropractic academic capacity would beneft from: a. Properly incentivised PhD uptake. This will improve the rate of course work to research student fow. In other health disciplines a full-time PhD scholarship is approximately $30K per annum for the duration of 3-4 years; b. Competitive post-doctoral placements for PhD graduates. Post-docs are the most productive researchers. After investing $120K in a PhD it is imprudent to let their skill-set (and the investment) become redundant. Including on-costs, these positions will offer little change from a $100K per annum investment; c. Career development fellowships. While the petunia patch is a nice analogy, professors don't develop by osmosis. Most of the leading professors in healthcare have been awarded fellowships which funds them to conduct world leading research; D. Industry supported grants. These can be used for strategic research purposes. This includes the buzz- term "strategic research projects" which satisfy the profession's immediate political curiosities. We suggest that personal development grants and grants targeted at developing long term research productivity would be a wise investment and better align with the ethos of community service. With this in mind there are no short cuts in gaining academic capacity, only stepper development trajectories. These steps aim to generate an economy for chiropractic research and demand for the suitably qualifed personnel. In time, and as supply increases, a competitive mechanism will further raise the standards and quality of chiropractic academia. The health of the chiropractic profession in Australia is proportional to its academic capability in Australian institutions. It is yet to be seen whether or not chiropractic's current research capacity in Australia is suffcient to remain viable into the future. Located in Australian universities, chiropractic academics are still well-positioned to service the profession's need for greater research output. CONCLUSION A cultural shift is needed to drive this aspect of professional growth. The profession, led by its peak body, can mediate this cultural shift and provide a sustainable platform for our academic professional development into the future. As demonstrated in point 3 these methods of improving the professions academic health are costly. An effcient conduit of industry support could come via a nominal levy, directly allocated to creating and sustaining a vibrant chiropractic research capacity in Australian chiropractic institutions. Chiropractors in Australia need to challenge their current perspective on the use and role of research as an important component of the community's and the profession's health. Michael Swain BChiroprSc, MChiroprac, ICSSD, MPhil Aron Downie BSc, MChiroprac, MPhil Benjamin Brown BChiroprSc, MChiroprac, PhD Reidar P. Lystad BChiroprSc, MChiroprac The Department of Chiropractic, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia REFERENCES 1. Hoskins W, Pollard H, Reggars J, Vitello A, Bonello R. Journal publications by Australian chiropractic academics: Are they enough? Chiropr & Osteopat. 2006;14(13):doi:10.1186/746-340-14-13. 2. Charlton KH. Caves, wizards and the state of the petunia patch. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1990;13(6):343-5. 3. Eaton S. The Australasian College of Chiropractors' Research Summit: Investigating the signifcance of strategic research for the profession. Chiropr J Aust. 2011;41(1):2. 4. Ebrall P. An RMIT University perspective on chiropractic research. Chiropr J Aust. 2011;41(1):9-12. 5. Richards D. A report on the outcomes of the Consensus Session held at the 2010 Australasian College of Chiropractors Research Summit. Chiropr J Aust. 2011;41(1):3-4. 6. Rosner AL. The importance of being earnest: a Research Chair in chiropractic. Chiropr J Aust. 2011;41(1):5-8. COMMENTARY SWAIN et al
CJA March 2013
CJA September 2013