Veteran Response to Dosage in Chiropractic Therapy (VERDICT): Study Protocol of a Pragmatic Randomized Trial for Chronic Low Back Pain

Cynthia R. Long, Anthony J. Lisi, Robert D. Vining, Robert B. Wallace, Stacie A. Salsbury, Zacariah K. Shannon, Stephanie Halloran, Amy L. Minkalis, Lance Corber, Paul G. Shekelle, Erin E. Krebs, Thad E. Abrams, Jon D. Lurie, Christine M. Goertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in veterans. Chiropractic care is a well-integrated, nonpharmacological therapy in Veterans Affairs health care facilities, where doctors of chiropractic provide therapeutic interventions focused on the management of low back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. However, important knowledge gaps remain regarding the effectiveness of chiropractic care in terms of the number and frequency of treatment visits needed for optimal outcomes in veterans with low back pain. DESIGN: This pragmatic, parallel-group randomized trial at four Veterans Affairs sites will include 766 veterans with chronic low back pain who are randomly allocated to a course of low-dose (one to five visits) or higher-dose (eight to 12 visits) chiropractic care for 10 weeks (Phase 1). After Phase 1, participants within each treatment arm will again be randomly allocated to receive either monthly chiropractic chronic pain management for 10 months or no scheduled chiropractic visits (Phase 2). Assessments will be collected electronically. The Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire will be the primary outcome for Phase 1 at week 10 and Phase 2 at week 52. SUMMARY: This trial will provide evidence to guide the chiropractic dose in an initial course of care and an extended-care approach for veterans with chronic low back pain. Accurate information on the effectiveness of different dosing regimens of chiropractic care can greatly assist health care facilities, including Veterans Affairs, in modeling the number of doctors of chiropractic that will best meet the needs of patients with chronic low back pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S37-S44
JournalPain medicine (Malden, Mass.)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 12 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiropractic
  • Low Back Pain
  • Nonpharmacologic
  • Pain Management
  • Pragmatic Clinical Trial
  • Veteran

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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