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Evidence-based practice in chiropractic practice: A survey of chiropractors’ knowledge, skills, use of research literature and barriers to the use of research evidence

Walker, B.F., Stomski, N.J., Hebert, J.J. and French, S.D. (2014) Evidence-based practice in chiropractic practice: A survey of chiropractors’ knowledge, skills, use of research literature and barriers to the use of research evidence. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 22 (2). pp. 286-295.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2014.02.007
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Abstract

Background
Scant research has been undertaken regarding chiropractors’ skills and knowledge associated with evidence-based practice (EBP), and their perceived barriers to EBP. These issues appear to have been examined in only one small qualitative study and one small study of chiropractors holding orthopaedic diplomas. The lack of research in this area suggests that additional studies are warranted to develop a better understanding of factors that affect chiropractors’ use of research evidence in clinical practice.

Methods
We used a modified online questionnaire that captured information regarding EBP skills and knowledge, and barriers to EBP. Its adaption was informed by the use of a content validity panel. The questionnaire was disseminated through email by Australian chiropractic professional organisations and the Chiropractic Board of Australia. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine univariate associations between responses to items measuring knowledge and skills with items measuring: age; years since registration; reading research literature; and use of research literature in clinical decision-making.

Results
584 respondents returned questionnaires. About half of the respondents stated they had learned the foundations of EBP (56.6%) during their undergraduate training. Slightly more than two thirds of the respondents were confident in their ability to critically review literature (69.5%) and find relevant research to answer clinical questions (72.6%). The most common factors involved with reading more research, and increased use of research literature in clinical decision-making, were confidence in critical appraisal skills and confidence in finding relevant research literature. Conclusion Educational interventions should be implemented to enhance Australian chiropractors’ fundamental EBP skills.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2014 Elsevier Ltd
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/21826
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