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Paul Wanlass
Amber McCallum
Oscar Alvarado
Rhiannon Hutton


Healthcare Education, Spinal Manipulation, Motor Skills, Psychomotor Skills, Sensorimotor Learning


Objective: To evaluate if changing the sequence in which students learn the complex psychomotor skill of spinal manipulation of the pelvis and lumbar spine in a chiropractic technique course would help to improve performance on practical exams.

Methods: This is a retrospective study of data collected for practical examinations. In order to assess the results of this change, the midterm and final practical exam scores for the 2 cohorts before the experiment were compared to the scores of the cohorts after the change. The students’ gender and cumulative grade point average were examined to determine if they were mediating factors.

Results: The experimental cohort scored lower in their technique exams compared to the control cohort (p = .001), although the difference between the medians was small (184.0 versus 180.0).

Conclusion: The results of this study reveal no improvement in practical exam scores after the sequencing of the pelvis and lumbar spine adjustive technique class instruction was changed from the traditional specific adjustments first and then psychomotor skills vs. teaching the psychomotor skills first followed by teaching specific adjustments. Further research is needed to determine the optimum sequence of teaching chiropractic psychomotor skills to maximize the students’ learning experience and clinical performance.


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