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Joseph Forese, M.D., D.C. & Tim Gooding, D.C.

Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic ~ December 16, 2013 ~ Pages 4-7


Objective:  The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes, perceptions and opinions towards the chiropractic profession from the standpoint of the general public.   We wanted to gauge whether or not those attitudes, perceptions or opinions might affect consumer decision making and how that might relate to consumer utilization of chiropractic services.

Methods:  A comprehensive survey was designed to explore the aforementioned areas of discourse. Generalized statements (23 in all) about the chiropractic profession were posed to respondents who were asked to indicate their opinion to those statements on a rating scale of; agree, neutral or disagree. The anonymous survey was distributed to random adult respondents who volitionally agreed to participate in the study.  The sample size comprised of 537 completed surveys.  We opted for an exploratory survey to obtain qualitative data to base future investigations upon.

Results:  The results of the survey show that members of the public who have never before utilized chiropractic services appear to have a number of misconceptions, negative preconceptions and opinions of chiropractors and the chiropractic profession.  One particularly glaring aspect was the overwhelmingly negative preconception of a chiropractor’s level of education and training.

Conclusion:  The preliminary findings of this survey have given us insight into how the profession may be perceived by the public.  It is possible these generally ill-conceived notions toward chiropractors and the profession could be viewed as potential barriers to consumer utilization of chiropractic services.  We now begin the arduous task of examining these areas more thoroughly with more comprehensive follow-up studies to ascertain and measure the validity of these findings.

Key Words: Chiropractic survey, chiropractic education, public perception, chiropractic, opinions, consumers

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