The research arm of the University of Western States, Center for Outcome Studies, was created in 1991 to train and support health care professionals in practice-based research. This approach to research involves community-based providers and health care clients as researchers and research participants, strengthening the reciprocal relationship of research and practice.

In 1994, UWS (then Western States Chiropractic College) became the first chiropractic college ever awarded a federal grant for research. The nearly million dollar grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) funded a collaborative study with Oregon Health Science University’s Department of Family Medicine. Since then, the Center for Outcome Studies has received additional grants from HRSA which supported a series of studies regarding low back pain. It has also received four grants from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

Under the direction of Mitchell Haas, DC, associate vice president of research, the Center for Outcomes Studies activities are currently focused on the efficacy of chiropractic care. Work is proceeding on identifying the dose-response relationship between the number of chiropractic treatments and clinical outcomes for chronic low back pain and headaches. In addition to conducting its own research agenda, the center continues to participate in projects with local and national collaborators.