Objective: The purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate differences between doctors of chiropractic with respect to their preference for the biomedical or biopsychosocial attitude and belief models.
Methods: Alumni of the University of Western States doctor of chiropractic program were asked to complete an online survey that included the Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale for Physiotherapists. This scale yields a biomedical score (10-60 scale) and a biopsychosocial score (9-54 scale). These scores are reported for 5 participant characteristics: sex, country of residence (USA vs other), chiropractic program completed (University of Western States vs other), decade of graduation, and years in practice. Secondarily, multiple linear regression was performed to evaluate the independent effects of participant characteristics on the 2 Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale for Physiotherapists scales.
Results: Of 3877 surveys, 233 were included in the analysis (response rate = 4.7%-7.4%). The mean biomedical scale score was 33.9 (standard deviation = 6.5), and the mean biopsychosocial scale score was 32.4 (standard deviation = 4.1). There was little variation in scores across the 5 participant characteristics (P > .05). Cronbach’s α for the biomedical scale reached an acceptable level of internal consistency (0.74). In contrast, Cronbach’s α for the biopsychosocial scale was 0.40.
Conclusion: This preliminary study found that in a sample of chiropractic program alumni of the University of Western States, there were no differences with respect to preference for the biomedical or biopsychosocial attitude and belief models. A better understanding requires a larger study comparing attitudes/beliefs with behavior in practice.
Author keywords: Pain; Chiropractic; Attitude; Culture
Author affiliations: SDL: Department of Clinical Education, University of Western States, Portland, Oregon; MH, LT: Center for Outcome Studies, University of Western States, Portland, Oregon; RT: Private Practice, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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