METHODS: This was a descriptive study using qualitative research methods. It was conducted from May to August 2007 by means of an electronically administered survey using purposive sampling of faculty and administrators at North American chiropractic colleges.
RESULTS: A total of 58 surveys were e-mailed to research directors, faculty, and staff at 16 colleges; 2 surveys were returned as undeliverable. Of the 56 successfully delivered surveys, 34 (61%) completed surveys were returned, representing 13 colleges. Not having a separate research clinic was seen by some respondents as positive and by others as negative. Of the 34 respondents, 32 felt there were advantages associated with conducting research within the college's teaching clinics rather than exclusively in a separate research clinic; 33 respondents described challenges to implementing the integration of research into their institution's clinics. The primary themes that emerged as challenges to conducting research in the institutions' teaching clinics were related to administration and policy, resources/facilities, faculty issues, and student issues. Respondents described strategies they had developed to address these challenges, primarily focusing on the challenges related to faculty and students rather than administration and resources.
CONCLUSION: In most chiropractic institutions, the challenges of integrating research into teaching clinics are primarily being addressed by individuals using focused, situation-specific strategies rather than at the level of institutional policy.
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