MOST COMMONLY USED METHODS OF DETECTING SPINAL SUBLUXATION AND THE PREFERRED TERM FOR ITS DESCRIPTION: A SURVEY OF CHIROPRACTORS IN VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
 
   

Most Commonly Used Methods of Detecting Spinal Subluxation
and the Preferred Term for its Description: A Survey
of Chiropractors in Victoria, Australia

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
    Frankp@chiro.org
 
   

FROM:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1997 (Nov);   20 (9):   583589


Walker BF, Buchbinder R.

Department of Public Health and Tropical Medicine,
James Cook University,
Townsville, Queensland, Australia


PURPOSE:   To determine the most commonly used diagnostic methods for detecting the spinal entity that chiropractors adjust/manipulate and the preferred term for describing this entity.

DESIGN:   Postal survey (self-completed questionnaire).

SETTING:   Victoria, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS:   All 554 chiropractors registered May 30, 1994, with the Chiropractors and Osteopaths Registration Board of Victoria.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:   Frequency of use and opinion with respect to reliability of 16 specific methods, measured on a 7-point, Likert-type scale [never used (1) to always used (7) and very unreliable (1) to very reliable (7), respectively]; the respondent's preferred term for describing the spinal entity that chiropractors adjust/manipulate.

RESULTS:   The response rate was 85%. The most commonly used method was static palpation (mean score 6.6 +/- 1.1). Seven other methods, including pain description of the patient, orthopedic tests, motion palpation, visual posture analysis, leg length discrepancy, neurological tests and plain static X-rays had mean scores greater than 4.0. All of these methods, as well as functional X-ray views and kinesiological muscle testing, were considered reliable, with mean reliability scores greater than 4.0. Motion palpation was regarded as the most reliable method (mean reliability score 5.9 +/- 1.2). Seventy-five different terms for describing the spinal entity were named by 440 respondents. "Subluxation" was included in the preferred term of 294 respondents (67%), 46 included "dysfunction" (11%), 35 included "fixation" (8%) and 20 included "manipulable" (4.5%).

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CONCLUSION:   Chiropractors commonly use a variety of methods to identify the spinal entity that they manipulate. There is no consensus as to the preferred term for describing this entity.

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