What do we mean, QAPE it??? People ask all the time, can you help with XYZ?? If it is musculoskeletal in nature and spine related, the easy answer is; yes probably. But we never really know until you come in for a visit. At Smart Pain Solutions we subscribe to the QAPE method. When  a person comes in with a complaint we; Question, Assess, Plan and Execute. While not all cases fall under the the chiropractic umbrella, all conditions do fall under the QAPE method. Following this simple approach guarantees that each patient’s condition will be properly addressed, even if that means referring out to another provider.

Now that you know what the QAPE acronym stands for, let’s break it down. 

So, what is it?

QUESTION: The history tells a provider a lot. By describing your symptoms to your provider, sharing the where and when it hurts, what started it and how long its been; you are providing them with valuable information and helps determine what the eventual plan will be. A proper line of 

ASSESS: This part is essentially the examination but can also include the assessment and review of past medical records and imaging. A competent provider will have a good idea of what’s at stake following the questioning phase. The assessment is used to rule in and rule out possibilities ultimately leading to a working diagnosis.

PLAN: Some offices refer to this as the report of findings. During this phase the provider will discuss these findings and make recommendations. Together with the patient they will create a plan. This should include the patient input. It is not solely up to the doctor to determine the best course for the patient. Other emotions, conditions, finances, etc. play a role in what is best for the patient and they should be a part of that decision making. 

EXECUTE: The next step is following through on Plan A. In the event the desired plan works, updates should be made along the way to accurately reflect the progress the patient is making along the way. If a person is 80% better after the first week of a 3x/week frequency, a decrease in frequency may be indicated. If Plan A does not maximize improvement, Plan B should be implemented. This may lead to a referral to another specialist, new imaging or a shift in treatment. 

This review of QAPE is a broad overview of the process any physician or examiner should be taking. While I am a chiropractor, you will likely find a similar approach in most clinical settings.

Dr. Robert “Bo” Andel
Chiropractic Physician

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