Objective: The purpose of this study was to construct a substantive framework of the manner in which the Danish government interacts with the Danish chiropractic profession and influences professional practice.
Methods: An exploratory, qualitative study was performed using a substantive grounded theory (GT) approach. Unstructured, face-to-face, individual interviews were conducted during the years 2012 and 2013 and thematically analyzed. Six people were interviewed for this study including a gatekeeper and witness to legislative history, a previous chiropractic political representative and witness to legislative history, a previous Department of Health negotiator and previous administrator of chiropractic affairs and witness to legislative history, a current administrator of chiropractic affairs, an active chiropractic political representative and witness to legislative history, and a chief negotiator for Danish Regional Health Care Services.
Results: Open and axial coding yielded 2 themes centering on licensing chiropractors in Denmark and the resultant developmental issues encountered. Through further selective coding, the GT core construct, “chiropractic practice in the Danish heath care system” emerged. The GT highlights the tension between the strategic political importance of legislation and the restrictive nature of the overly specific act currently regulating chiropractic practice. Moreover, the GT also revealed the perceived negative effect that the National Board of Health may exert on clinical practice due to its conservative interpretation of the act.
Conclusions: The Danish government is perceived to act as a countervailing power related to chiropractic practice. The derived substantive GT suggests that the Danish government's dualistic action relative to the Danish chiropractic community may inhibit the spontaneous evolution of contemporary Danish chiropractic practice. Although historically narrow legislation may limit chiropractic practice, conservative interpretations by the Danish National Board of Health may also play an important role.
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