Discussion: Many studies on chiropractic care are really more evaluations of one or two modalities alone (such as spinal manipulative therapy / chiropractic adjustments) and do not consider the entire chiropractic clinical encounter. The results of chiropractic care in randomized controlled trials for example have not necessarily shown the results that one might anticipate and the evidence is conflicting. Postmodern research encourages looking at problems from multiple perspectives and requires consideration of local context first and foremost. Qualitative and practice-based / action research methods are postmodern techniques that have been employed sparingly in chiropractic research. These methods could be of benefit as they could reduce the gap between practice and research and provide a more patient-centered means of studying the profession. Several chiropractic researchers have indicated the need to use such techniques to improve the profession and our understanding of it.
Conclusion: Implementing research methods that have postmodern perspective could be beneficial for the profession. This is not to say that randomized controlled trials should be abandoned, they are still an extremely necessary part of the health care research landscape, but tempering them with some studies that employ unique postmodern methodologies could be useful in helping expand our understanding of the profession, particularly at a local and clinical level.
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