OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding on what quality of life (QOL) and its assessment means to chiropractors in everyday practice.
METHODS: This study captured chiropractors' perspectives on the QOL construct and its assessment using a qualitative descriptive methodology that comprised 2 focus groups, each with 4 participants using semi-structured, open-ended questioning. Participants from Aotearoa, New Zealand, were also asked to evaluate 4 QOL patient-reported outcome measurements from a clinical perspective.
RESULTS: Two of the participants were faculty at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, 5 were in full-time practice, and 1 was practicing part time. Using qualitative content analysis, 3 main themes were identified. These chiropractors perceived that patients have misconceptions about how chiropractic can affect QOL. They lacked clarity in communicating QOL and its related concepts to establish a clinically meaningful patient encounter. Finally, there is uncertainty in how and when to measure QOL, which appears to affect how they discuss and assess QOL in practice.
CONCLUSION: There is a complex combination of factors that makes communication regarding QOL challenging. This exploratory qualitative study helps to understand the challenges faced in how and when to communicate and assess QOL more effectively in chiropractic practice.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, Focus Groups, Patient-Reported Outcome Measures, Quality of Life, Communication
Author affiliations: TTG: Research Department, New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland, New Zealand; CUK: Department of Health Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; PF: Department of Psychology, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
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