METHODS: An online survey consisting of 22 multiple choice questions was e-mailed to 1000 chiropractors randomly selected from the mailing list of an online chiropractic newsletter. Upon completion of the questionnaire, participants' answers were saved on a secure site. Data analysis included evaluation of the demographic characteristics of the respondents, their opinions of and patterns of taking CE including online education, preferred learning formats, and their interest in proposed online master's degree programs. A survey response rate was determined.
RESULTS: Nearly 86% of respondents felt their previously completed CE courses were either somewhat or extremely satisfactory. Over ninety percent of respondents who had completed online or distance CE courses found them to be somewhat or extremely satisfactory. Almost half the respondents indicated that they most preferred online distance learning, while 34.08% most preferred face-to-face interaction. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated an interest in starting a master's degree program; however 70.46% of respondents were interested in an online master's degree program that would offer CE credit. A response rate of 35.8% was obtained.
CONCLUSION: Satisfaction among chiropractors with CE programs is high. The notion of completing a part-time online master's degree (or online combined with face-to-face interaction) appears to be popular among respondents, with a M.Sc. in Chiropractic Sciences being the most popular of those mentioned. Online surveys are a viable method of obtaining opinion in a cost and time efficient manner; there are some sources of bias involved in this type of research, and numerous steps need to be taken to obtain a suitable response rate.
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