OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to determine how the words chiropractic and chiropractor have been used in publications in relation to the reporting of complications from cervical spinal manipulation therapy (SMT).
STUDY DESIGN: The study method was to collect recent publications relating to spinal manipulation iatrogenesis which mentioned the words chiropractic and/or chiropractor and then determine the actual professional training of the practitioner involved.
METHOD: The training of the practitioner in each report was determined by one of three means: surveying previous publications, surveying subsequent publications and/or by writing to the author(s) of ten recent publications which had used the words chiropractic and/or chiropractor.
RESULTS: This study reveals that the words chiropractic and chiropractor commonly appear in the literature to describe SMT, or practitioner of SMT, in association with iatrogenic complications, regardless of the presence or absence of professional training of the practitioner involved.
CONCLUSION: The words chiropractic and chiropractor have been incorrectly used in numerous publications dealing with SMT injury by medical authors, respected medical journals and medical organizations. In many cases, this is not accidental; the authors had access to original reports that identified the practitioner involved as a nonchiropractor. The true incidence of such reporting cannot be determined. Such reporting adversely affects the reader's opinion of chiropractic and chiropractors.
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