We assessed the change in attitudes, knowledge, and perspectives of medical students towards chiropractic after a 1-hour educational intervention.
A mixed-methods approach was used with a 52-item cross-sectional paper survey and 1 focus group of third-year medical students. The views of these medical students towards chiropractic were assessed previously in their second-year of medical school. ANOVA and the Wilcoxon rank-sum test were used to assess between-group differences between the medical students' views before and after the educational intervention. The constant comparative method for analyzing qualitative data was used to identify emergent themes from the focus group transcript.
Of 112 third-year medical students, 58 completed the survey (51.7% response rate). The focus group consisted of 6 medical students. Self-reported understanding of chiropractic and number of attitude-positive responses were significantly higher in the group after the educational session. The average number of correct responses assessing knowledge on chiropractic also was significantly higher. Focus group themes were that medical students wanted exposure to chiropractic in clinical settings, had negative attitudes towards chiropractic formed from hidden curriculum, had concerns regarding evidence and safety of chiropractic, and thought that timing of the session on chiropractic was too late in the curriculum.
The attitudes and knowledge of medical students towards chiropractic improved immediately after a 1-hour educational intervention. Formally educating medical students on chiropractic may help minimize hidden curriculum issues regarding chiropractic, as identified by the medical students, and facilitate collaboration between medical and chiropractic providers.