by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA June 2012
54 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 42 Number 2 June 2012 legal personality of the CBA is that of a body corporate and it represents the interests of the state.10 The National Boards aim primarily to protect the public and are responsible for the administration and guidance of each profession throughout Australia. This specifcally involves the development and endorsement of codes and guidelines. In developing the Code of Conduct, the National Law compelled the Board to ensure that there was wide-ranging consultation about its content.11 This process was transparent in that discussion papers were published on the CBA website. These discussions were reviewed as a starting point for this study to identify the key areas of concern and contention with the development of the new Code. A review of the current literature was conducted via seven electronic databases; APAIS-Health, Australian Policy Online, CINAHL, Index to Chiropractic Literature, Health Collection, Mantis, PubMed, and Scopus. The search was restricted to articles in English, published from January 1980 to present. Keywords consisted of: chiropractic, code of ethics, governing board, guidelines as topic, health service administration, Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, licensure, manipulation, program evaluation, professional regulation, and registration. Abstracts were screened for the following inclusion criteria: discussion of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, discussion of chiropractic registration in Australia, or discussion of the role of chiropractic registration boards. Of the 133 full articles retrieved, 119 were excluded as they were either irrelevant or duplicates. Of the remaining 15 articles, only 5 discussed chiropractic registration in Australia. Of those 5, only 3 articles discussed the new national registration scheme. The articles uncovered by the literature review informed the researchers primarily of the historical context of chiropractic registration in Australia. Key areas of concern and contention with the development of the new Code were highlighted by the 2009 article written by Dr Stanley Bolton (Chiropractor) discussing the frst consultation paper in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia.12 Dr Bolton’s next article on the topic in 2010 informed the researchers as to the process for the development of the new boards.2 All of the discovered articles were in part limited as they were substantially opinion pieces offering commentary on the history they were reporting. This highlighted the need for this study at the time. The aim of this study was to determine the current attitudes towards, and level of compliance with, the new chiropractic Code of Conduct as developed by the CBA. This was in order to enhance the awareness of chiropractors, and as such beneft the wider community. METHODOLOGY A cross sectional survey of the chiropractic profession was chosen as the appropriate means to achieve this aim of this study. As there was no pre-existing survey instrument that met the aim, a questionnaire was constructed. The application of the new legislation led to the production of both new guidelines and a new Code of Conduct. All of these changes were compared and contrasted with the outgoing state and territory specific Codes of Conduct and guidelines (see Table 1). Western Australia is absent from this process as it did not have a formal code of conduct document in place prior to the shift to the national registration scheme. The outgoing codes and guidelines were retrieved using an Internet archive entitled ‘Wayback Machine,’ in addition to contacting previous board members. It was assumed that differences above would best test both the compliance and attitudes of the chiropractic profession towards the changes in the new national Code of Conduct. Questions pertaining to demographics, frst aid, continuing professional development (CPD), titles, adjustment restrictions, reporting requirements, advertising, spinal screenings, duty of care, care plans, radiology, and evidence based practice (EBP) were included. A small pilot study was implemented in order to improve the internal validity of the questionnaire. Ten members of the profession within Macquarie University were asked to complete the survey and give feedback regarding ambiguity and/or diffcult questions. The time taken to complete the questionnaire was recorded and deemed appropriate. Several questions were revised with the addition of defnitions and emboldening of key words for clarity. The fnal questionnaire is given in the results. Data from the pilot study was not included in the results, however pilot participants were included in the main study. The research committees of both the Chiropractic Association of Australia (CAA) and Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australia (COCA) approved the promotion of the survey. Their members total approximately 3000 and 1000 respectively, giving an approximate sample size of 4000 without accounting for dual membership. Ethics approval was granted by the Macquarie University Human Ethics Research Committee (reference number: 5201100642). Members of the CAA and COCA received an email explaining the nature of the study and a link to the information and consent webpage. This outlined: the aims and purpose of the study; qualifcations and contact information of the researchers; directions on how to complete the survey; the anonymous and voluntary nature of the survey; and that submission of the survey qualifed as consent for research purposes. Participants were then directed to the online survey. The survey remained open for 3 months. Questions could not be skipped. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Following approximately 4000 emails, 323 chiropractors took part in the study. 29 responses were excluded as the questionnaire was not completed. Consequently, there were 294 complete questionnaires giving a response rate of approximately 7.4%. This may not refect the profession as a whole. Demographics The majority of respondents graduated within the last 5 years and listed New South Wales or Victoria as their place of primary practice. The two longest established of the three CHIROPRACTIC CODE OF CONDUCT SURVEY FITZGERALD • BURRELL • BULL
CJA March 2012
CJA September 2012