If chiropractic is to develop as a clinical science, it must develop an experimental data-base. Despite numerous continuing obstacles, a growing segment of the profession is advocating chiropractic clinical trials. However, the large-scale control-group clinical-experimental designs which have most frequently been recommended are usually beyond the economic means of chiropractic institutions. Moreover, such designs are impractical in many ways for the chiropractic field-doctor who wishes to integrate the roles of scientist and practitioner. Time-series experimental (and case study) designs offer practical and economical alternatives for the DC, whether inter, solo-practitioner, or academic researcher. Several types of time-series designs are described, published examples from related health-care literature are noted, and the role of time-series research in furthering the goals of chiropractic research are reviewed. Ethical considerations in clinical research are briefly noted.
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