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The adoption of person-centred care in chiropractic practice and its effect on non-specific spinal pain: An observational study

Stomski, N., Morrison, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-3389-8393, Maben, J., Amorin-Woods, L., Ardakani, E. and Théroux, J. (2019) The adoption of person-centred care in chiropractic practice and its effect on non-specific spinal pain: An observational study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 44 . pp. 56-60.

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The objectives of this study were to identify: 1) the extent to which final year chiropractic students used components of person-centred care in a clinical setting; and 2) determine the effect of chiropractic students’ use of person-centred care on musculoskeletal pain.


An observational study was conducted at three Western Australian chiropractic teaching clinics.


Pragmatic individualised chiropractic care was delivered to 108 adults who experienced non-specific spinal pain.

Main outcome measures

The instruments used in this study were the Consultation and Relational Empathy questionnaire, Picker Musculoskeletal Disorder Questionnaire, and Numerical Rating scale for Pain intensity.


Participants experienced reductions in pain that exceeded the level required for minimal clinically reported improvement. In addition, high levels of empathy and patient -centred care were reported. Ceiling effects for the measures assessing empathy and patient-centred care precluded analyses examining the relationship between changes in pain intensity, empathy, and patient-centred care.


The participants in this study displayed very positive attitudes about most aspects of the chiropractic students’ person-centred care skills. Person-centred care processes for which there was considerable scope for improvement included advice about alternative treatment options, and the adaptation of lifestyle and workplace situations to alleviate pain and enhance health. Our findings also showed that the participants experienced clinically important improvement in pain. However, the skewed nature of our dataset precluded identifying whether the students’ person-centred care skills influenced such improvement.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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