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FORCE supports research to develop an evidence-base for the use of the Osteopathic Approach to health. To ensure its research meets rigorous scientific standards, FORCE populates its protocol, design, project management, and publication teams with experts in the design, implementation, and publication phase of each study. All research projects sponsored through FORCE must demonstrate:
- Clinical significance
- Osteopathic relevance
- Translation to patient care
FORCE research initiatives will pursue collaborations with major research institutions, colleges of Osteopathic medicine, and individual researchers whose work meets the standards set by the Foundation.
FORCE designed its research process with two outcomes in mind:
- Bring the best research talent to the design and management of projects, removing the burden from the principal investigators
- Remain engaged in each phase of the research process from…
- Idea compilation
- Protocol design
- Project management
- Education and translation to patient care
Our process first and foremost begins with the question “What should be researched?” Research ideas originate from researchers, practitioners, and the Foundation itself. FORCE will review research ideas offered in the following four ways…
- Submit a Concept Paper that describes the benefit your research brings to patients. The idea must demonstrate how it meets the criteria FORCE has developed to ensure the research it funds has the highest impact on patient care.
- An existing project that is seeking collaboration with the Osteopathic Approach through FORCE and meets the Foundation’s requirements for approval. We define existing project as one that provides an opportunity for collaboration in the Osteopathic Approach to health
- as a stand-alone clinical intervention comparative to the current standard of care
- as a clinical intervention adjunctive to conventional care
- as preventive care
- A project submitted by LBORC to FORCE. To ensure any LBORC research project seeking collaboration with FORCE meets the Foundation’s requirements for approval, any idea proposed for collaboration must be submitted to FORCE via the Concept Paper and will go through the Foundation’s review process. If approved, FORCE will collaborate with LBORC on the next steps to develop a research protocol that meets FORCE standards.
- Any project identified by action of the FORCE board that meets the Foundation’s requirements for approval
Protocol design is one of the most complex processes in research, and impacts the way data is collected and analyzed, the management of the project, and the outcomes it can produce. To ensure thorough and proper design of its research protocols, FORCE will contract with expertise in the fields of epidemiology, statistics, data collection and management, subject matter experts both in the topic of study and the Osteopathic Approach, and the insurers and payers that reimburse for service provided. FORCE has executed master agreements with two major Contract Research Organizations (CRO’s) to bring these services to our research initiatives.
FORCE will fund an Executive Management Team for each project. Larger multi-faceted projects, like the PBRN, will each have a Project Team to manage the operations of the individual cohorts in the PBRN.
FORCE projects have timelines that can extend for several years. Thus, the operational management to keep the research on target, compliant with the protocol, and relevant is critical to the success of the research and to provide the return on investment that the donors who support the projects expect.
What makes the FORCE approach unique is the assumption of the responsibility for this continuous management by the Foundation working in partnership with the PI and the various research sites. The funding for the management infrastructure is embedded in the project budget itself. This means the entire donor funds are being used to support the project.
This allows the Foundation to maintain only a minimal administrative infrastructure to organize and manage the project development cycle at the Foundation, do fund development, and provide participation on and guidance to the Executive Management teams and the Project teams.
Publication and Translation to Patient Care
Findings from research supported by FORCE that show Osteopathic relevance in the maintenance of health and treatment of disease are then published and translated into training and educational programs that teach the physician and clinical community the best practice to improve clinical outcomes and the delivery of patient care. Programs will be offered to clinicians by the American Academy of Osteopathy, and made available by FORCE to the colleges of Osteopathic medicine to educate the student community.