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A perspective on Chiropractic Councils on Education accreditation standards and processes from the inside: A narrative description of expert opinion, part 1: Themes

Innes, S.I.ORCID: 0000-0001-7783-8328, Cope, V.ORCID: 0000-0002-4528-4268, Leboeuf-Yde, C. and Walker, B.F.ORCID: 0000-0002-8506-6740 (2019) A perspective on Chiropractic Councils on Education accreditation standards and processes from the inside: A narrative description of expert opinion, part 1: Themes. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 27 . Article number: 57.

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The aim of this study was to report on key informant opinions of Councils on Chiropractic Education (CCE) regarding recent research findings reporting on improving accreditation standards and processes for chiropractic programs (CPs).

This qualitative study employed in-depth semi-structured interviews with key experienced personnel from the five CCEs in June and July of 2018. The interviews consisted of open-ended questions on a range of issues surrounding accreditation, graduate competency standards and processes. All interviews were audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were analysed to develop codes and themes using thematic analysis techniques assisted by NVivo coding software. The study followed the COREQ guidelines for qualitative studies.

Six themes were isolated from the interview transcripts; they were: professional differences; keep it in the family; to focus on outcomes or be prescriptive?; more resources please; inter-profession integration; and CPs making ends meet. Most respondents saw a need for CCEs standards and processes to improve interdisciplinarity while at the same time preserving the 'uniqueness' of chiropractic. Additionally, informants viewed CCEs as carrying out their functions with limited resources while simultaneously dealing with vocal disparate interest groups. Diverse views were observed on how CCEs should go about their business of assessing chiropractic programs for accreditation and re-accreditation.

An overarching confounder for positive changes in CCE accreditation standards and processes is the inability to clearly define basic and fundamental terms such as 'chiropractic' and its resultant scope of practice. This is said to be because of vocal, diverse and disparate interest groups within the chiropractic profession. Silence or nebulous definitions negotiated in order to allow a diversity of chiropractic practice to co-exist, appears to have complicated and hindered the activities of CCEs. Recommendations are made including an adoption of an evidence-based approach to accreditation standards and processes and the use of expertise from other health professions. Further, the focus of attention should be moved away from professional interests and toward that of protection of the public and the patient.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright: © The Author(s). 2019
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