Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the current scope of practice of chiropractic radiologists by identifying frequent tasks conducted as well as those conditions most often seen and those that present the greatest risk of harm to patients.
Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used. An online survey was conducted with 91 diplomates listed with the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology. Participants rated the frequency of tasks they perform and conditions they see on a 5-point scale from “never” to “daily.” They also rated the level of risk each condition presents to patients on a 5-point scale from “no risk” to “severe risk.” Frequency and risk ratings were then presented in rank order to 22 subject matter experts at 3 focus groups.
Results: The most frequent task reported was writing radiology reports (mean [SD], 4.29 [1.58]). Ratings of the frequency of conditions seen in practice and the risk they present to patients were ranked from the highest to lowest for frequency and risk separately. The most frequent conditions seen were reportedly those with structural or joint derangement; the highest risk conditions seen are those that are systemic. Focus group members recommended that some conditions receive higher rankings and that certain conditions be recategorized for future practice analyses.
Conclusions: This study helps to define the current scope of practice of chiropractic radiologists and identify frequent tasks and conditions. These results inform the development of a new test outline for Part I of the chiropractic radiology certification examination to ensure that examinees are tested on the most important conditions chiropractic radiologists see in practice.
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