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Evidence-Informed Q&A

Evidence-Informed Q&A

Evidence-Informed Q&A with Dr. Christopher Kent

Director Evidence Informed Curriculum & PracticeBecause Sherman College recognizes a growing need for focus in the area of evidence-informed curricula and practice in chiropractic education and in the profession, the institution welcomed Christopher Kent, D.C., J.D., to the college’s staff in July 2016. His work as director of evidence informed curriculum and practice addresses the topic both from an educational and practice perspective as well as supports accreditation principles.

Kent is responsible for overseeing and directing the initiation and collaboration of projects and studies with faculty, students, and staff. Which increase the quality and quantity of evidence applicable to the curriculum and practice of chiropractic, with a special focus on the unique approach to the science, art, and philosophy of traditional/principled chiropractic. He is collaborating with academic deans to ensure the inculcation of the evidence into the curriculum and clinical practice.

Sherman Magazine asked him a few questions about his role at the college and how a focus on evidence-informed practice and curriculum can impact the profession.

What exactly is evidence-informed practice?

It is difficult to attend a chiropractic meeting without encountering some discussion of evidence-based practice. The concept is simple and as old as the healing arts. Sackett defines evidence-based practice as “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of the current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. … [It] is not restricted to randomized trials and meta-analyses. It involves tracking down the best external evidence with which to answer our clinical questions.”1

Evidence-based practice is giving way to evidence-informed practice. An additional dimension has been added to the equation – patient preferences. As Umscheid noted, “patient preferences are critically important to clinical decision making and patient care.”2

What does this mean to the Sherman College family?

The mission of Sherman College of Chiropractic is to educate and prepare students to become doctors of chiropractic. This mission is based upon the college’s core values and is achieved through activities in the areas of education, research, and service. In particular, the research portion of the mission is as follows: ‘Faculty members engage in research and scholarly activities that contribute to the body of pedagogical and clinical knowledge which advance chiropractic education and the chiropractic profession.’3

What does this process look like on campus?

Evidence-informed practice is a continuous process. Once the concept is integrated into instruction and clinical practice, the objective of the instructor or practitioner is continual improvement through the integration of more and better evidence. Once the process becomes part of the culture of the institution, stakeholders hold one another accountable for staying current, engaging in scholarly activity, and exhibiting the traits of professionalism. Each stakeholder becomes a role model and mentor.

Evidence-informed curriculum and practice is an essential element of implementing these core values.  The process involves the following steps:

  • Evaluate the evidence base for each course. Is the material taught supported by textbooks, scientific literature, individual expertise, or a combination of these?
  • Identify any gaps in the evidence for what is taught.
  • Review the available literature to see which gaps can be filled.
  • This may lead to recommendations for curriculum and policy change, and help develops a research agenda to fill the gaps that remain.

Evidence-Informed Q&AOur constituencies are demanding a higher level of scholarly activity from faculty. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners will be testing on evidence-informed practice. Accreditors expect best practices in education. Students want evidence to back what they are being taught. Yet, the real reason for doing this is that it is the right thing for professionals to do.

How will this focus on evidence benefit students as they graduate and enter practice?

Graduates will enter the field possessing the skills needed to track down the best available external evidence to apply in the care of their patients. This ability, coupled with their knowledge and skill in locating and correcting vertebral subluxations, will result in developing improved clinical strategies for individual patients.

How will our work in this area impact the profession?

Sherman College has the resources and resolves to lead the profession in developing an evidence-informed model for subluxation centered chiropractic. This involves determining the current evidence, identifying gaps in the evidence, conducting research to fill those gaps, and disseminating the results of that research to students and practitioner.

Sherman College will continue to be the leader in the research and science of vertebral subluxation and in the clinical practice of chiropractic.

Anything else to share?

Our goal is to create a culture committed to the expansion of our knowledge base, and clinical excellence. It involves the integration of academic, clinical, research, and outreach components.

References

  1. Sackett DL. Editorial. Evidence-based medicine. Spine, 1998; 23(10):1085.
  2. Umscheid CA. Should guidelines incorporate evidence on patient preferences? J Gen Intern Med, August 2009; 24(8):988–990.
  3. The Vision of Sherman College. Adjusting the World for a Better Future. https://www.sherman.edu/mission-statement/
Lending Library

Lending Library

Little Free Library® Established at Sherman College Chiropractic Health Center

Lending LibrarySherman College’s Chiropractic Health Center is home to the newest Little Free Library® in the Spartanburg area. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

“The Sherman College Chiropractic Health Center is proud to have a Little Free Library® for our community to enjoy,” said Dean of Clinic Operations and Outreach Kristy Shepherd, M.A. “Our hope is that this library will foster an environment of learning and sharing among our patients, students, faculty, and staff.”Lending Library

Little Free Library® helps people around the world start and maintain free “take a book, return a book” book exchanges. The organization has more than 50,000 libraries in all 50 states and 70+ countries with millions of books exchanged annually. Many Little Free Libraries are placed in front yards, parks, gardens, coffee shops, community centers and other easily accessible locations.

Lending LibraryThe Spartanburg area has about a dozen Little Free Libraries, but Sherman College’s is the only location in Boiling Springs. To be called a Little Free Library®, a free book exchange must be registered with an official charter sign and charter number. Sherman College’s charter number is 51635.

The Sherman College Chiropractic Health Center is located on campus at 2020 Springfield Road in Boiling Springs and serves as a teaching clinic for senior students in their final stage of internship prior to graduation from the doctor of chiropractic program. Because the clinic is open to the public, residents in Upstate South Carolina experience excellent chiropractic care at affordable prices through 35,000 patient visits per year.

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Sherman College of Chiropractic provides students with a comprehensive chiropractic education, preparing them to enter the field as doctors of chiropractic who are highly skilled, compassionate, ethical and successful. On its 80-acre campus in South Carolina, Sherman offers a first professional degree program unique in its approach to health care and known globally for the skill and art of chiropractic delivered by graduates. For more information, visit www.sherman.edu or call 800-849-8771.

Content used with permission of Little Free Library, LTD.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Rhodes
Director of Public Relations

Sherman College of Chiropractic
Phone: 800-849-8771, ext. 242
Email: krhodes@sherman.edu
Web: www.sherman.edu

Tobacco-Free Campus

Tobacco-Free Campus

Sherman College Becomes Tobacco-Free Campus

Sherman is a tobacco-free campusRecognizing the health hazards caused by tobacco use and exposure, Sherman College of Chiropractic has updated its policies and is now a tobacco-free environment. The Carolinas’ only chiropractic college, located in Spartanburg, updated its student and employee handbooks this April, banning the use of any tobacco product, including smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Sherman College of Chiropractic President Edwin Cordero, D.C., said the change in policy aligns well with the college’s mission. “As a graduate institution focused on health, Sherman College of Chiropractic has a responsibility to lead the way toward a healthier college community and a healthier Spartanburg,” Dr. Cordero said. “We found that our policies needed to be in line with our philosophy of health – that we needed to do even more to provide a healthy and safe working environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.”

According to data from the South Carolina Tobacco-free Collaborative, 51 percent of Spartanburg college students attend a tobacco-free institution, while 83.5 percent of the county’s K-12 students are enrolled in a school district that has a 100-percent tobacco-free model policy in place. In Spartanburg County, only 15.2 percent of residents are guaranteed protections from secondhand smoke in indoor workplaces.

“Recognizing that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the U.S., the Road to Better Health Coalition applauds Sherman College of Chiropractic’s efforts to create a tobacco free campus environment and to address client tobacco use,” said Renee Romberger, Vice-President of Community Health Policy and Strategy for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Road to Better Health Advisory Board member.

Sherman College’s efforts in becoming a tobacco-free campus have aligned well with The Road to Better Health’s initiatives. This organization represents more than 40 professional and non-profit groups working together to improve health outcomes in Spartanburg County. The RTBH coalition serves as a leading force in the Public Health Indicator Area of The Spartanburg Community Indicators Project, which aims to improve the quality of life for Spartanburg residents in seven Indicator Areas.

“Helping ensure that Sherman College students, employees, and patients are as healthy as possible is in keeping with the Road to Better Health’s goals to improve the health and well-being of Spartanburg County residents,” Romberger said of the college’s tobacco-free policy. “Under the leadership of Joe Pinilla of The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health, the RTBH Tobacco Taskforce is thrilled to partner with Sherman College to support this important health and environmental strategy for their organization.”

Resources

The Forrester Center, a member of The Road to Better Health Coalition, offers resources for individuals who would like to quit smoking. For more information, please call 864-707-2805 or call the South Carolina Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

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Sherman College of Chiropractic provides students with a comprehensive chiropractic education, preparing them to enter the field as doctors of chiropractic who are highly skilled, compassionate, ethical and successful. On its 80-acre campus in South Carolina, Sherman offers a first professional degree program unique in its approach to health care and known globally for the skill and art of chiropractic delivered by graduates. For more information, visit www.sherman.edu or call 800-849-8771.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Rhodes, M.B.A.
Director of Public Relations

Sherman College of Chiropractic
Phone: 800-849-8771, ext. 242
Email: krhodes@sherman.edu
Web: www.sherman.edu

 

Joe Pinilla, MPH, CHES
Deputy Director of Prevention and Community Engagement

The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health
Phone: 864-707-2804
Email: jpinilla@theforrestercenter.org
Web: http://www.theforrestercenter.org/