Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 26984
  Title Prevalence of chiropractic-specific terminology on chiropractors’ websites in the United Kingdom with comparison to Australia: An analysis of samples
Journal J Chiropr Humanit. 2021 Dec;28():15-21
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of 5 chiropractic-specific terms on UK chiropractic websites to findings in a previous study in Australia and to provide an argument against the use of these terms.

Methods: We searched websites belonging to chiropractors registered with the General Chiropractic Council for 5 terms: subluxation, vital(-ism/-istic), wellness, adjust(-ing/-ment), and Innate (Intelligence). Of 3239 websites, 326 were sampled. Each page was searched, and terms were counted only if used in a chiropractic-specific context. Term occurrence and frequency were recorded. The data were analyzed using a single-sample χ2 goodness-of-fit test for unequal proportions. The results were compared to those of our prior Australian study, using the χ2 test of homogeneity to determine the differences between samples.

Results: At least 1 of the 5 chiropractic-specific terms was found on 245 (75%) of UK websites. Adjust(-ing/-ment) was found on 222 (68%) of UK websites compared to 283 (77%) in Australia; wellness on 67 (5%) of UK sites compared to 199 (33%) in Australia; vital(-ism/-istic) on 30 (9%) of UK sites compared to 71 (19%) in Australia; subluxation on 17 (5%) of UK sites compared to 104 (28%) in Australia; and Innate on 10 (3%) of UK sites compared to 39 (11%) in Australia. A χ2 test found that the terms were not equally distributed in the two samples,  = 404.080, P < .001. In the discussion, we explain why we feel that chiropractic-specific terms should be abandoned and standard biomedical terms used.

Conclusion: In the sample of websites we evaluated in this study, the majority in the United Kingdom used the 5 chiropractic-specific terms that we searched for. The terms were used less frequently than on websites in Australia but were in a similar order of prevalence.

Author keywords: Chiropractic Medicine; Communication Barriers; Anthropology; Medical History

Author affiliations: KJY: School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK; JT: College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

This abstact is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Free full text will be available June 22, 2022 at


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