Chiropractic Identity, Role and Future: A Survey of North American Chiropractic Students
Jordan A Gliedt, Cheryl Hawk, Michelle Anderson,
Kashif Ahmad, Dinah Bunn, Jerrilyn Cambron,
Brian Gleberzon, John Hart, Anupama Kizhakkeveettil,
Stephen M Perle, Michael Ramcharan,
Stephanie Sullivan, and Liang Zhang
Logan University College of Chiropractic,
1851 Schoettler Rd,
Chesterfield, MO 63017 USA.
BACKGROUND: The literature pertaining to chiropractic students’ opinions with respect to the desired future status of the chiropractic physician is limited and is an appropriate topic worthy of study. A previous pilot study was performed at a single chiropractic college. This current study is an expansion of this pilot project to collect data from chiropractic students enrolled in colleges throughout North America.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to investigate North American chiropractic students’ opinions concerning professional identity, role and future.
METHODS: A 23-item cross-sectional electronic questionnaire was developed. A total of 7,455 chiropractic students from 12 North American English-speaking chiropractic colleges were invited to complete the survey. Survey items encompassed demographics, evidence-based practice, chiropractic identity and setting, and scope of practice. Data were collected and descriptive statistical analysis was performed.
RESULTS: A total of 1,247 (16.7% response rate) questionnaires were electronically submitted. Most respondents agreed (34.8%) or strongly agreed (52.2%) that it is important for chiropractors to be educated in evidence-based practice. A majority agreed (35.6%) or strongly agreed (25.8%) the emphasis of chiropractic intervention is to eliminate vertebral subluxations/vertebral subluxation complexes. A large number of respondents (55.2%) were not in favor of expanding the scope of the chiropractic profession to include prescribing medications with appropriate advanced training. Most respondents estimated that chiropractors should be considered mainstream health care practitioners (69.1%). Several respondents (46.8%) think that chiropractic research should focus on the physiological mechanisms of chiropractic adjustments.
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