Background: This is the second article reporting on a study that sought the views of people with extensive experience in Councils on Chiropractic Education (CCEs) on research that has raised concerns about variability in accreditation standards and processes for chiropractic programs (CPs) and chiropractic practice in general.
Methods: This qualitative study employed in-depth semi-structured interviews that consisted of open-ended questions asking experts about their thoughts and views on a range of issues surrounding accreditation, graduate competency standards and processes. The interviews were audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim in June and July of 2018. The transcripts were reviewed to develop codes and themes. The study followed the COREQ guidelines for qualitative studies.
Results: The interviews revealed that these CCE experts were able to discern positive and negative elements of the accreditation standards and processes. They were, in general, satisfied with CCEs accreditation standards, graduating competencies, and site inspection processes. Most respondents believed that it was not possible to implement an identical set of international accreditation standards because of cultural and jurisdictional differences. This was thought more likely to be achieved if based on the notion of equivalence. Also, they expressed positive views toward an evidence-based CP curriculum and an outcomes-based assessment of student learning. However, they expressed concerns that an evidence-based approach may result in the overlooking of the clinician’s experience. Diverse views were found on the presence of vitalism in CPs. These ranged from thinking vitalism should only be taught in an historical context, it was only a minority who held this view and therefore an insignificant issue. Finally, that CCEs should not regulate these personal beliefs, as this was potentially censorship. The notable absence was that the participants omitted any mention of the implications for patient safety, values and outcomes.
Conclusions: Expert opinions lead us to conclude that CCEs should embrace and pursue the widely accepted mainstream healthcare standards of an evidence-based approach and place the interests of the patient above that of the profession. Recommendations are made to this end with the intent of improving CCE standards and processes of accreditation. View Part 1
Author keywords: Accreditation — Chiropractic — Competence — Qualitative — Council on chiropractic education — Vitalism
Author affiliations: SI, VC, BFW: College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia; CL-Y: Institute for Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
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