Background: Practice-based data collection can offer insight into the nature of chiropractic practice and contribute to resolving the conundrum of the chiropractic profession’s role in contemporary healthcare, subsequently informing care service policy. However, there is little formal data available about chiropractic practice to inform decision-makers about the nature and role of chiropractic within the context of a modern multidisciplinary healthcare context in Australia, particularly at a local and regional level.
Methods: This was a mixed-methods data transformation model (qualitative to quantitative) pilot study the purpose of which was to provide a critique of the research design and collect data from a selected sample of chiropractic practices in Western Australia, with a view to offer recommendations related to the design, feasibility and implementation of a future confirmatory study.
Results: A narrative critique of the research methods of this pilot study is offered in this paper covering: (a) practice and patient recruitment, (b) enrollment of patients, (c) data collection methods, (d) acceptability of the study methods, (e) sample size calculations, and (f) design critique.
Conclusions: The result of this critique provides a sensible sample size estimate and recommendations as to the design and implementation of a future confirmatory study. Furthermore, we believe that a confirmatory study is not only feasible, but indeed necessary, with a view to offer meaningful insight into chiropractic practice in Western Australia.
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