Assessing the attitudes, knowledge and perspectives of medical students to chiropractic.
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OBJECTIVE: To assess second-year medical students' views on chiropractic. METHODS: A three-step triangulation approach was designed, comprising a 53-item survey, nine key informant interviews and one focus group of 8 subjects. ANOVA was used to assess attitude-response survey totals over grouping variables. Constant comparison method and NVivo was used for thematic analysis. RESULTS: 112 medical students completed the survey (50% response rate). Subjects reporting no previous chiropractic experience/exposure or interest in learning about chiropractic were significantly more attitude-negative towards chiropractic. Thematically, medical students viewed chiropractic as an increasingly evidence-based complementary therapy for low back/chronic pain, but based views on indirect sources. Within formal curriculum, they wanted to learn about clinical conditions and benefits/risks related to treatment, as greater understanding was needed for future patient referrals. CONCLUSION: The results highlight the importance of exposure to chiropractic within the formal medical curriculum to help foster future collaboration between these two professions.
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