Intervention usage for the management of low back pain in a chiropractic teaching clinic

Ben Csiernik, Ali Smith, Joshua Plener, Anthony Tibbles, James J. Young*


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Background: Despite numerous low back pain (LBP) clinical practice guidelines, published studies suggest guideline nonconcordant care is still offered. However, there is limited literature evaluating the degree to which chiropractors, particularly students, follow clinical practice guidelines when managing LBP. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of use of specific interventions for LBP by students at a chiropractic teaching clinic, mapping recommended, not recommend, and without recommendation interventions based on two clinical practice guidelines. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of patients presenting to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College teaching clinic with a new complaint of LBP from January to July 2019. Interventions provided under treatment plans for each patient were extracted. Interventions were classified as recommended, not recommended, or without recommendation according to two guidelines, the NICE and OPTIMa LBP guideline. Results: 1000 patient files were identified with 377 files meeting the inclusion criteria. The most frequent interventions provided to patients were manipulation/mobilization (99%) and soft tissue therapy (91%). Exercise, localized percussion, and advice and/or education were included in just under half of the treatment plans. Patient files contained similar amounts of recommended (70%) and not recommended (80%) interventions according to the NICE guideline classification, with half the treatment plans including an intervention without recommendation. Under the OPTIMa acute guideline, patient files contained similar amounts of recommended and not recommended care, while more recommended care was provided than not recommended under the OPTIMa chronic guideline. Conclusions: Despite chiropractic interns providing guideline concordant care for the majority of LBP patients, interventions classified as not recommended and without recommendation are still frequently offered. This study provides a starting point to understand the treatment interventions provided by chiropractic interns. Further research should be conducted to improve our understanding of the use of LBP guideline recommended care in the chiropractic profession. Trial registration: Open Science Framework # g74e8.

TidsskriftChiropractic & Manual Therapies
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 9. jan. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
JY has received PhD funding support from the Danish Foundation for Chiropractic Research and Post-graduate Education, Ontario Chiropractic Association, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, and the University of Southern Denmark. All other authors declare no competing interests.


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