OBJECTIVES: In this project, we set out to assess the knowledge and perceptions of our chiropractic clinical teaching faculty regarding the Healthy People 2010 document and its goals. We also assessed which focus area of the Healthy People 2010 goals was most important in the minds of our chiropractic clinical teaching faculty and what action steps they would propose for incorporating Healthy People 2010 into the chiropractic clinical teaching setting.
METHODS: A review of the Healthy People 2010 document and related chiropractic literature was performed and utilized by the authors to identify several main Healthy People 2010 focus areas particularly relevant to chiropractic education and practice. A review of chiropractic and general health professions literature on health promotion, prevention, and aging-related Healthy People 2010 objectives was also performed to provide the necessary context for developing an appropriate educational intervention and assessment. Expert opinion of other chiropractic researchers related to the topic of Healthy People 2010 was also utilized in identifying focus areas and developing an educational intervention.
A PowerPoint presentation was subsequently developed to offer background information on Healthy People 2010 to chiropractic clinical teaching faculty. An assessment and “turn-in assignment” was built into this presentation to allow for chiropractic clinical teaching faculty to express their perceptions of Healthy People 2010, their prior knowledge of Healthy People 2010, and to state which focus areas of Healthy People 2010 they felt were most important and practical for implementation in the chiropractic teaching clinic setting.
No identifying information was shared with the primary author, and the author did not participate in the educational intervention, so as not to bias the results of the assessment. The data, descriptive in nature, were reviewed and compiled by the authors.
RESULTS: The literature search and expert opinion identified several main focus areas of the Healthy People 2010 that were particularly relevant to chiropractors in the clinical education setting. These included physical activity recommendations, overweight/obesity management, nutrition recommendations, injury prevention (especially in children and the elderly) and tobacco use cessation.
Thirty-three clinical faculty members attended the presentation, and all completed the assessment and offered written comments about the topic. Of the five priority areas in this project, most chiropractic clinicians who chose a specific topic selected physical activity as the most important and practical for implementation to incorporate in the chiropractic clinical teaching clinic setting. This is important to note, since physical activity may be the single most important lifestyle recommendation to help patients achieve better health.
DISCUSSION: In this project we learned that most chiropractic clinical teaching faculty (at the institution surveyed) are not prepared to help implement the Healthy People 2010 goals due to lack of familiarity with the Healthy People 2010 document. However, we also found that once the concepts of Healthy People 2010 were introduced to faculty, and examples of practical implementation steps given, that most faculty members were willing to incorporate Healthy People 2010 into the clinical education setting.
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