Background: The incorporation of evidence-based practice (EBP) is widely recognised as a necessary process for entry-level health professional training. Accreditation documents reflect the practice standards of health professions. No previous study has assessed the extent to which EBP has been taken up by chiropractic regulatory/licencing authorities, known as Councils on Chiropractic Education (CCEs), around the world. The purposes of this study were to examine CCEs’ educational standards for signs of a positive and negative approach to EBP as indicated by the prevalence and use of the words evidence, research, subluxation and vitalism, and to make recommendations if significant deficiencies were found.
Method: We undertook a systematic audit of the educational standard documents of the various CCEs. CCEs were selected on the basis of the World Health Organisation. Two investigators identified the occurrences of terms explicitly related to EBP: evidence, evidence-based, research, subluxation and vitalism. This information was tabulated for comparative purposes. The date of the study was March 2016.
Results: Occurrences of the term evidence, as it related to EBP, was highest in the CCE-Europe (n = 6), followed by CCE-Australia (n = 2), and CCE-USA (n = 1). None were found in the CCE-International or CCE-Canada documents. The term research appeared most frequently in the CCE-Europe documents (n = 43), followed by CCE-USA (n-32), CCE-Australia (n = 29), CCE-Canada (n = 9) and CCE-International (n = 8). The term subluxation was found only once (CCE-USA) and vitalism did not appear in any educational standard documents.
Conclusions: Accreditation bodies are powerfully positioned to act as a driver for education providers to give greater priority to embedding EBP into entry-level programs and shaping future directions within the profession. Terminology relating explicitly to EBP appears to be lacking in the educational standard documentation of CCEs. Therefore, future revisions of accreditation standards should address lack of terminology.
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