METHODS: This project collected observational data from a multidisciplinary focus group composed of both chiropractic and medical professionals. The goals of the focus group were to explore the attitudes and experiences of medical and chiropractic clinicians regarding their patients with chest pain who receive care from both medical and chiropractic providers, to identify important clinical or research questions that may inform the development of 'best practices' for coordinating or managing care of chest pain patients between medical and chiropractic providers, to identify important clinical or research questions regarding the diagnosis and treatment of chest pain of musculoskeletal origin, to explore various methods that might be used to answer those questions, and to discuss the feasibility of conducting or coordinating a multidisciplinary research effort along this line of inquiry. The convenience-sample of five focus group participants included two chiropractors, two medical cardiologists, and one dual-degreed chiropractor/medical physician. The focus group was audiotaped and transcripts were prepared of the focus group interaction. Content analysis of the focus group transcripts were performed to identify key themes and concepts, using categories of narratives.
RESULTS: Six key themes emerged from the analysis of the focus group interaction, including issues surrounding (1) Diagnosis; (2) Treatment and prognosis; (3) Chest pain as a chronic, multifactorial, or comorbid condition; (4) Inter-professional coordination of care; (5) Best practices and standardization of care; and (6) Training and education.
CONCLUSION: This study carries implications for chiropractic clinical training relative to enhancing diagnostic competencies in chest pain, as well as the need to ascertain and improve those skills, competencies, and standards for referrals and sharing of clinical information that may improve cross-disciplinary coordination of care for chest pain patients.
Full text is available free online for this article; click on the above link.