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Exploring 1st- and 2nd-year chiropractic students' willingness and attitudes toward peer physical examination

Ardakani, E.M., Théroux, J., Beynon, A.M. and Losco, B. (2022) Exploring 1st- and 2nd-year chiropractic students' willingness and attitudes toward peer physical examination. Journal of Chiropractic Education . In Press.

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This study aimed to explore chiropractic students' perceptions and attitudes about the appropriateness of peer physical examination as a teaching tool and their willingness and comfort with it.


A modified version of a validated questionnaire was used. First- and 2nd-year chiropractic students at Murdoch University were approached during their practical sessions. The responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics reporting frequencies and percentages. Comparison between classes, age, and sex was evaluated by cross-tabulation.


A total of 184 questionnaires were completed with a response rate of 76.6%. Our results demonstrated that most students were comfortable with and willing to participate in peer physical examination as well as trusted it as an appropriate part of their training and a valuable learning experience. Nevertheless, a small percentage were uncomfortable with peer physical examination and regarded it as an unprofessional activity. In addition, it was revealed that younger females (≤20 years) reported feeling unnecessarily exposed and therefore significantly less comfortable with peer physical examination. They were also less comfortable when examined in the inguinal area by a student of the opposite sex.


Although peer physical examination appears to be a very popular training tool, it still has a few areas of concern that need to be investigated and addressed to improve students' attitude, perception, and comfort with this teaching technique. Further studies could investigate how other factors such as religious beliefs contribute toward students' perception and attitudes regarding peer physical examination.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: Brighthall and Allen Press Publishing Services
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