Main Article Content

Brian Gleberzon


Professional Status, Interview, Qualitative Study


Objective: The objective of this study was to perform a thematic analysis of the obstacles, challenges and opportunities facing the chiropractic profession based on interviews of 30 influential stakeholders.

Methods:This project was approved by the Ethics Review Board of the University of South Wales, UK. Prospective interviewees were identified by purposeful sampling, based on a combination of their professional careers, publications, and public statements, representing a broad spectrum of ideologies within the profession. They were contacted via email to participate in this study. If they agreed, they were sent a ‘participant information’ form and ‘consent’ form to read and sign. Consenting participants were provided the interview questions in advance. Comments were transcribed contemporaneously. Comments were not directly attributed to any specific individual. Responses were coded and themes identified.

Results: Five themes were identified in the interviewee’s responses. These were: leadership; evidence-based care; politicalisation of research; characteristics and practice activities of chiropractors and; the future of the profession.

Conclusion:Interviews of 30 influential stakeholders provided a rich tapestry of perspectives and opinions with respect to the current and future status of the chiropractic profession. Further qualitative research is warranted.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 242 | CURRENT AND FUTURE STATUS Downloads 137


1. Montgomery DP, Nelson JM. Evolution of chiropractic theories of practice and spinal adjustment. Chiropr History 1995;5:71-76

2. Kaptchuk TJ, Eisenberg DM. Chiropractic. Origins, controversies and contributions. Arch Intern Med 1998;158:2215-2224

3. Keating JC Jr. Several pathways in the evolution of chiropractic manipulation. JMPT 2003;26(5):300-321.

4. Keating JC Jr, Cleveland CS III, Menke M. Chiropractic history: a primer. Association for the History of Chiropractic. Davenport, IA 2004

5. The International Chiropractic Education Collaboration. Clinical and Professional Chiropractic Education: A Position Statement. 2014

6. European Schools Sign Anti-Subluxation Position Statement. Foundation of Vertebral Subluxation. May 17, 2015,Anglo%2DEuropean%20College%20of%20Chiropractic

7. Meeker WC, Haldeman S. Chiropractic: A profession at the crossroads of mainstream and alternative medicine. Ann Intern Med 2002;136:216-227

8. Villanueva-Russell Y. Caught in the crosshairs: Identity and cultural authority within chiropractic. Social Science and Medicine 2011;1-12

9. Carey P, Dixon P, Clum G. WFC Professional Identity.

10. Nelson CF, Lawrence DJ, Triano JJ et al. Chiropractic as spine care: A model for the profession. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2005 (July):1-32

11. Welsh S. ICA President finds himself defending traditional chiropractic in international affairs. The American Chiropractor 2020: October:24-28

12. Oakley PA, Harrison DD, Harrison DE, Haas JW. Evidence-based protocol for structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture: review of clinical biomechanics of posture (CBP) publications. JCCA 2005;9(4):270-296

13. Cooperstein R, Perle SM, Gleberzon BJ, Peterson DH. Flawed trials, flawed analysis: Why CBP should avoid rating itself (Editorial). JCCA 2006;50(2):97-102. 

14. Oakley PA, Cuttler JM, Harrison DE. X-ray imaging is essential for contemporary chiropractic and manual therapy spinal rehabilitation: Radiography increases benefits and lowers risk. Dose Response 2018; June 19:16(2)

15. Kawchuk G, Goertz C, Axen I et al. Letter to the Editor RE: X-ray imaging is essential for contemporary chiropractic and manual therapy spinal rehabilitation: Radiography increases benefits and lowers risk. Dose Response 2018;June
2018;19:16(2). Dose Response 2018: December 27;16(4).

16. Young KJ. Gimme that old time religion: the influence of the healthcare belief system of chiropractic’s early leaders on the development of x-ray imaging in the profession. Chiropr Man Ther 2010;22:36

17. Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ. Technique systems in chiropractic. St. Louis, MO; Elsevier, 2004

18. Parnell-Prevost C, Gleberzon BJ, Carleo B et al. Manual therapies of pediatric conditions: a systematic review. BMC Compl Altern Med 2019;19:60

19. Cote P, Hartvigsen J, Hainan Y et al. The global summit on the efficacy and effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy for the prevention and treatment of non-musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review of the literature. Chiropr Man Therap 2021;29(8)

20. Laseque H, Boon H. Print media coverage on the Dana Dale Lewis inquest verdict- exaggerated claims or accurate reporting? Health Law Rev 13(1):1-15

21. Horseman, I. Jury’s verdict stuns profession. Canadian Chiropractor 2004;9(1):3-5

22. Maiers M, Agaoglu M, Brown R et al. Chiropractic in global health and wellbeing: a white paper describing the public health agenda of the World Federation of Chiropractic. Chiropr Man Ther 2018;26:26

23. Murphy D, Schneider M, Seaman R et al. ‘How can chiropractic become a respected mainstream profession? The example of podiatry’ Chiropr Osteopat 2008:1-9

24. Kaufman KJ. A history of Ontario midwifery. J Soc Obstet Gynaecol Can 1998;20(10):976-981

25. Eisenberg D, Davis RB, Ettner SL et al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States. Results of a Follow-up National Survey. JAMA 1998;280(18):1569-1575

26. Tindle HA. Trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine by US adults: 1997-2002. Alternative Ther 2005;11(1):42-49

27. Biggs L, Hay D, Mierau D. Canadian chiropractors’ attitudes towards chiropractic philosophy and scope of practice: implications for the implementation of clinical practice guidelines. J Can Chiro Assoc 1997:41(3):145-153

28. McGregor M, Puhl AA, Reinhart C et al. Differentiating intraprofessional attitudes toward paradigms in health care delivery among chiropractic factions: results from a randomly sampled survey. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014;14(1):51

29. Pulh AA, Reinhard CJ, Doan JB et al. Relationship between chiropractic teaching institutions and practice characteristics among Canadian doctors of Chiropractors: A random sample survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014;37:709-718

30. Gliedt JA, Hawk C, Anderson M, et al. Chiropractic identity, role and future: a survey of North American chiropractic students. Chiropr Man Ther 2015:23(4)

31. Gleberzon BJ, Russel E, Pohlman KA. Comparison of chiropractic lexicon at two educational institutions: a cross-sectional survey. J Can Chiro Assoc 2019;63(1):36-43

32. Busse JW, Jim J, Jacobs C et al. Attitudes towards chiropractic: an analysis of written comments from a survey of north American orthopaedic surgeons. Chiropr Man Ther 2011;19:25

33. Triano JJ. McGregor M. Core and complementary chiropractic: lowering barriers to patient utilization of services. J Chiropr Humanit 2016;23(1):1-13

34. Mirtz TA, Perle SM. The prevalence of the term subluxation in North American English-language doctor of chiropractic programs. Chiropr Man Ther 2011;19:14

35. Fink MF, Frisina-Deyo AJ, Mirtz TA et al. The prevalence of the term subluxation in chiropractic degree program curricular throughout the world. Chiropr Man Ther 2018;26:24

36. Beliveau PJH, Wang JJ, Sutton DA et al. The chiropractic profession: a scoping review of utilization rates, reasons for seeking care, patient profiles, and care provided. Chiropr Man Ther 2017: 25:35

37. Meeker WC, Haldeman S. Chiropractic: A profession at the crossroads of mainstream and alternative medicine. Ann Intern Med 2002;136:216-227

38. Brown R. After the storm - what have we learnt? Chiropr Report 2011:26(6):1-7

39. Walker BF. The new chiropractic. Chiropr Man Ther 2016;24:26

40. Axen I, Bergstrom C, Bronson M et al. Misinformation, chiropractic and the COVID-19 pandemic. Chiropr Man Therap 2020;28:65

41. Nowell LS, Norris JM, White DE et al . Thematic analysis: Striving to meet the trustworthiness criteria. International J Qualitative Res 2017;16:

42. Saunders B, Sim J, Kingstone T et al. Saturation in qualitative research: exploring its conceptualization and operationalization. Qual Quant 2018;52:1893-1907

43. American Chiropractic Association Choosing Wisely: Five things physicians and patients should question. Released August 15, 2017, updated June 11, 2019

44. Bodenheimer T, Sinsky C. From triple to quadruple aim: Care of the patient requires care of the provider. Ann Fam Med 2014;12(6):573-576

45. “It’s absolutely rubbish” claims WFC researcher Jan Hartvigsen on use of x-rays to identify subluxation. Chronicle of Chiropractic 2019:April 21

46. Leboeuf-Yde C, Innes ST, Young KL et al. Chiropractic, one big unhappy family: better together or apart? Chiropr Man Ther 2019: 27(4).

47. Victoria Agency for Health Information. Safer Care Victoria. Chiropractic spinal manipulation for children under 12: Independent review. State of Victoria, Australia. October 31, 2019

48. Skou ST, Roos EM. Good Life with osteoarthritis in Denmark (GLA:DTM): evidence-based education and supervised neuromuscular exercise delivered by certified physiotherapists nationwide. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2017:18:72

49. Schneider MJ, Ammendolia C, Murphy DR. Comparative clinical effectiveness of nonsurgical treatment methods in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Netw Online 2019;2(1): e186828. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6828

50. WFC releases new guiding principles document. Statements reflect strong commitment to global advancement. WFC September 24, 2019

51. Goertz CM, Hurwitz EL, Murphy BA et al. Extrapolating beyond the data in a systematic review of spinal manipulation for nonmusculoskeletal disorders: A fall from the Summit. J Manipulative Physiol Ther doi: Accessed April 17, 2021.

52. Kopansky-Giles D. Premature evaluation -making policy recommendations in the absence of sufficient evidence. Letter to the Editor. JMPTonline June 20, 2021.

53. Budgell B. RE: Goertz et al Extrapolating beyond the data. Letter to the Editor. JMPTonline. June 15, 2021.

54. Gleberzon BJ, Cooperstein R, Good C et al. Developing a standardized curriculum for teaching chiropractic technique: Qualitative analysis of participants' opinions from 4 intercollegiate conference workshops. J Chiropr Educ 2021;26(1):51-61.

55. Lindsay B. Battle over chiropractors' ability to do routine X-rays headed for B.C. court.

56. Hawk C, Amorin-Woods L, Evans MW et al. The role of chiropractic care in providing health promotion and clinical preventive services for adult patients with musculoskeletal pain: Clinical Practice Guidelines. J Altern Compl Med 2021:1-18. DOI:10.1089/acm.2021.0184

57. Baker SE, Edwards R. How many qualitative interviews is enough? Expert voices and early career reflections on sampling and cases in qualitative research. National Centre for Research Methods Review Paper. 1-42

58. Onwuegbuzie AJ, Leech NL. A call for qualitative power analysis. Quality and Quantity 2007;41:105-121

59. Sandelowski M, Leeman J. Writing usable qualitative health research findings. Qualitative Health Res 2012;22(10):1404-1413

60. Castlebury A, Nolen A. Thematic analysis in qualitative research data: Is it as easy as it sounds? Methodology Matters 2018;10:807-815

61. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 2006;3(2):77-101

62. Bengtsson M. How to plan and perform a qualitative study using content analysis. NursingPlus Open 2006;8-14