Majority Focused on Subluxation

How Chiropractors Think and Practice:
The Survey of North American Chiropractors

For the past 100 years, chiropractic leaders in North America vigorously debated (1) whether the profession’s scope of practice should be restricted to the examination and adjustment of the spine or expanded to include a broad range of procedures from physical and general medicine and (2) whether the spinal adjustment is or is not an effective treatment for many early-stage visceral conditions. While leaders debated, the opinions of practicing chiropractors were never systematically surveyed. This probability survey seeks to ascertain the opinions of practicing chiropractors on the issues and questions that arise from the historic conflict between broad scope advocates and focused scope proponents. This is a systematic random attitudinal survey of 1,102 practicing chiropractors selected from a mailing list of 60,409 names from Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
The 687 respondents (63.3% response rate) produced four major findings:
  1. Numerous survey items repeatedly show that >75% of the survey subjects favor a broad scope of clinical services,
  2. Several items show that >75% of the respondents empirically find that the adjustment of the vertebral subluxation complex usually elicits improvements in select visceral ailments,
  3. Majorities of self-labeled broad scope, middle scope, and focused scope chiropractors agree on all but one issue, and that is
  4. Respondents divide rather evenly on the question of limited prescription rights for the profession.

Practicing chiropractors in this survey form a consensus on many scope of practice and philosophical issues, in contrast to the history of conflict among leaders in the profession.

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