Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 17699
  Title Clinical relevance and retention of basic science courseware by practicing chiropractors [Platform presentation at the Association of Chiropractic Colleges' Twelfth Annual Conference, 2005; meeting abstract]
Journal J Chiropr Educ. 2005 Spring;19(1):2
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Meeting Abstract

The curricula in chiropractic education can always be improved and should be dynamic. The intention of this study is to provide insights for potential improvements to the chiropractic education. Medical education research suggests that the basic sciences may be one area where change could be made. A thoughtful restructuring of the curriculum, reducing the number of class hours in basic sciences, dedicating those hours to more outcome-based or clinically applicable courseware, and making the remaining hours in the basic sciences more clinically relevant could better prepare future chiropractors and thus benefit the profession.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to find out what information chiropractors in the field recalled from their education in some of the basic science courses and to determine the opinions of practicing chiropractors regarding clinical relevancy of the information.

METHODS: A quiz was administered consisting of 30 questions (10 randomly selected questions from each of 3 subjects) to practicing chiropractors at continuing education seminars at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) campus. Participants remained anonymous and were asked not to indicate any personal information, and consent was thus implied with completion of the quiz. A survey instrument was developed to collect opinions on the clinical relevance of the information comprising the answers to the quiz questions. The survey used a 5-point Likert scale (1 D totally clinically irrelevant, 2 D clinically irrelevant, 3 D undecided, 4 D clinically relevant, and 5 D totally clinically relevant). For example, if one of the quiz questions was, “Which is the main flexor of the elbow joint?” the survey would ask the respondent to rate the clinical relevance of the statement, “The biceps brachii is the major flexor of the elbow joint.” Survey respondents were also asked not to indicate any personal information, and implied consent by completing the survey. The target for each group was 100 complete documents. Chiropractors were asked to take the quiz relying only on their own knowledge. No outside sources were permitted to complete the quiz, and it was administered and collected at continuing education seminars conducted through CMCC. Once the quiz portion of the study was complete, the same procedure was taken at continuing education seminars with the survey portion of the study. No chiropractor was permitted to complete both the quiz and the survey.

RESULTS: Sixty-five quizzes and 43 surveys were returned completed. The overall average on the quiz was 36%, while the overall average relevancy rating was 3.1 on a 5-point scale. The average result for the biochemistry questions was 30% with an average relevancy rating of 2.7. The average result for the histology questions was 42% with an average relevancy rating of 3.3. The average result for the microbiology questions was 35% with an average relevancy rating of 3.4.

DISCUSSION: The average quiz score was 36%, with only 6 of the 30 questions scoring above 50%. This suggests that the information tested is not commonly used after the educational setting. The average ranking of clinical relevance for all of the questions was 3.1 of 5, with only 1 of 30 questions receiving a rating above 4, indicating that respondents were undecided as to the clinical significance of the information tested.

CONCLUSION: These results showed that the 65 chiropractors who participated in our study performed poorly on the questionnaire overall. Additionally, they did not rate the questions as particularly relevant to clinical practice. This supports the idea that there is superfluous information in chiropractic education, and that the basic science content could be refocused without compromising educational quality.

First author: Scott Anderson

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Full text is available by subscription. 

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