Objective: To evaluate Australian and New Zealand chiropractic students' opinions regarding the identity, role setting, and future of chiropractic practice.
Methods: An online, cross-sectional survey was administered to chiropractic students in all chiropractic programs in Australia and New Zealand. The survey explored student viewpoints about the identity, role/scope, setting, and future of chiropractic practice as it relates to chiropractic education and health promotion. Associations between the number of years in the program, highest degree preceding chiropractic education, institution, and opinion summary scores were evaluated by multivariate analysis of variance tests.
Results: A total of 347 chiropractic students participated in the study. For identity, most students (51.3%) hold strongly to the traditional chiropractic theory but also agree (94.5%) it is important that chiropractors are educated in evidence-based practice. The main predictor of student viewpoints was a student's chiropractic institution (Pillai's trace =.638, F[16, 1368] = 16.237, p < .001). Chiropractic institution explained over 50% of the variance around student opinions about role/scope of practice and approximately 25% for identity and future practice.
Conclusions: Chiropractic students in Australia and New Zealand seem to hold both traditional and mainstream viewpoints toward chiropractic practice. However, students from different chiropractic institutions have divergent opinions about the identity, role, setting, and future of chiropractic practice, which is most strongly predicted by the institution. Chiropractic education may be a potential determinant of chiropractic professional identity, raising concerns about heterogeneity between chiropractic schools.
Author keywords: Attitude, Chiropractic, Cross-Sectional Studies, Students, Surveys and Questionnaires
Author affiliations: KEDL, MF, MS: Chiropractic Academy for Research, New South Wales, Australia; JAG:College of Chiropractic, Logan University, Chesterfield, MO.; GK:University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada; MS:Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia
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