Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Which of the following is an antioxidant?
Vitamin E
Vitamin B


 Interviews with People Who Make a Difference: Moving Chiropractic Forward 
Interview with Bill Meeker
   as interviewed by Daniel Redwood DC

In biomechanics, Ram Gudavalli is working on projects to describe, explain, and model biomechanical and manipulative forces, to basically figure out how manipulation works from an engineering point of view. He’s working on developing a better explanatory model for what goes wrong with the spine, and also to develop better training methods for teaching chiropractic students how to adjust the spine.

REDWOOD: So this research is attempting to provide a scientific explanation for why chiropractic works, which you said earlier is essential for chiropractic and other CAM approaches to clear the hurdles they face. Aside from these basic science studies, what other research are you doing?

MEEKER: We've got both clinical trial and outcome studies.

REDWOOD: For the non-scientists reading this, could you please explain the difference between the two?

MEEKER: Sure. Basically, outcome studies are experimentally less controlled, observational studies of cohorts [groups] of patients going through some [health] care process, where we're not trying to figure out cause and effect relationships between any component of the care package and the particular outcome that they have. What we’re looking for is—how did patients’ health status change as a result of going through the care process?

REDWOOD: More of a "real life care in the office" model.

MEEKER: Yes. It's a very generalizable kind of thing. In that regard, Cheryl Hawk is the director of the Palmer practice-based research program. This is a network of about 200 practicing chiropractors in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, who agree to follow standardized protocols in assessing their patients, filling out certain forms that we collect in a central location. Our office of data management then runs the stats and manages the data. We can do some fairly interesting outcome studies and descriptive studies about what goes on in chiropractic practices. For example, Cheryl recently had a paper published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, looking at patients in chiropractic practices who are over age 55. This had not been done before, believe it or not.

REDWOOD: What did the study find?

MEEKER: That at least half of those patients choose the chiropractor as their primary contact or primary care practitioner for those conditions. Most of those patients have multiple pain complaints; not just back or neck or head pain, for example, but back and neck and head complaints. They run the gamut from mild to severe. They only get moderately better in the first four weeks, which is all that we measured in this study, but they are highly satisfied with their care. They also get a substantial amount of recommendations on exercise, nutrition, and other health promotion approaches.

We have also looked at non-musculoskeletal complaints in chiropractic practices. We recruited doctors who said they had a high proportion of non-musculoskeletal complaints. But interestingly, even in the group that said they had a high proportion of non-musculoskeletal cases, the average was 15 percent. For the profession overall, it’s about 5 percent.

REDWOOD: I know you were in practice for a few years in the 1980s. Having made the choice to put your primary energy into research and research administration, do you miss being in practice?

MEEKER: Not any more. I did miss it sometimes, years ago. But I made a choice at the time—it was either going to be practice or academia. I don't like being bored, and I am just way more drawn to the scientific challenges. I like working in an institution. I like the group-thinking, the structure, the resources that are available, and the ability to move groups of people. Of course, I never really intended to have a career like this [no such career track existed in chiropractic until the 1990s], but there was such a vacuum. I found myself doing things that no one else was doing, and people appreciated it. I saw a real need, things that needed to be done. So I set about doing it. At this point in life, I’ve accepted that this is what I was destined to do.

CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Daniel Redwood, DC, is a Professor at Cleveland Chiropractic College - Kansas City. He is editor-in-chief of Health Insights Today ( and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the......moreDaniel Redwood DC
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Error Reading Event Calendar
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Breathing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar