METHODS: Individuals responsible for radiology instruction at accredited chiropractic schools throughout the world were contacted and invited to participate in a Web-based survey. The survey included questions on the role of conventional radiography in chiropractic practice and instruction given to students for its use in patients with acute low back pain.
RESULTS: Of the 33 chiropractic schools identified worldwide, 32 (97%) participated in the survey. Consistent with the guidelines, 25 (78%) respondents disagreed that "routine radiography should be used prior to spinal manipulative therapy," 29 (91%) disagreed that there "was a role for full spine radiography for assessing patients with low back pain," and 29 (91%) disagreed that "oblique views should be part of a standard radiographic series for low back pain." However, only 14 (44%) respondents concurred with the guidelines and disagreed with the statement that there "is a role for radiography in acute low back pain in the absence of 'red flags' for serious disease."
CONCLUSIONS: This survey suggests that many aspects of radiology instruction provided by accredited chiropractic schools appear to be evidence based. However, there appears to be a disparity between some schools and existing evidence with respect to the role of radiography for patients with acute low back pain without "red flags" for serious disease. This may contribute to chiropractic overutilization of radiography for low back pain.
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