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Attitudes of non-practicing chiropractors: a pilot survey concerning factors related to attrition

Mirtz, T.A, Hebert, J.J. and Wyatt, L.H (2010) Attitudes of non-practicing chiropractors: a pilot survey concerning factors related to attrition. Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 18 (1). p. 29.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-1340-18-29
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Abstract

Background
Research into attitudes about chiropractors who are no longer engaged in active clinical practice is non-existent. Yet non-practicing chiropractors (NPCs) represent a valid sub-group worthy of study.

Aim
The purpose of this research was to assess attrition attitudes of NPCs about the chiropractic profession and develop a scale to assess such attitudes.

Methods
A 48 item survey was developed using the PsychData software. This survey included 35 Likert-style items assessing various aspects of the profession namely financial, educational, psychosocial and political. An internet discussion site where NPCs may be members was accessed for recruitment purposes.

Results
A total of 70 valid responses were received for analysis. A majority of respondents were male with 66% being in non-practice status for 3 to 5 years and less with 43% indicating that they had graduated since the year 2000. Most respondents were employed either in other healthcare professions and non-chiropractic education. A majority of NPCs believed that business ethics in chiropractic were questionable and that overhead expense and student loans were factors in practice success. A majority of NPCs were in associate practice at one time with many believing that associates were encouraged to prolong the care of patients and that associate salaries were not fair. Most NPCs surveyed believed that chiropractic was not a good career choice and would not recommend someone to become a chiropractor. From this survey, a 12 item scale was developed called the "chiropractor attrition attitude scale" for future research. Reliability analysis of this novel scale demonstrated a coefficient alpha of 0.90.

Conclusion
The low response rate indicates that findings cannot be generalized to the NPC population. This study nonetheless demonstrates that NPCs attrition attitudes can be assessed. The lack of a central database of NPCs is a challenge to future research. Appropriate investigation of attrition within the chiropractic profession would be helpful in the analysis of attitudes regarding both chiropractic education and practice. Further research is needed in this area.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Chiropractic and Sports Science
Publisher: Biomed Central
Copyright: ©2010 Mirtz et al
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3481
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