The Influence of Curricular and Extracurricular Learning Activities on Students’ Choice of Chiropractic Technique
Written by Editor   
Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:00 AM

As a healthcare profession, chiropractic has been influenced strongly throughout the course of its 120-year history by highly influential and opinionated individuals, especially with regard to philosophy and adjustive procedures. These persons include the “founder” of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, and his son, B.J. Palmer (developer of the meric technique and Hole-in-One or upper cervical technique), Clarence Gonstead (developer of the Gonstead technique), Arlan Fuhr (developer of the Activator technique), James Cox (developer of the Cox flexion-distraction technique), Clay Thompson (developer of the Thompson terminal point technique), George Goodheart (developer of applied kinesiology [AK]), Major Bertrand deJarnette (developer of the Sacro-Occipital Technique [SOT]), and many others.

Surveys for the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners indicate that diversified chiropractic technique is the most commonly used chiropractic manipulation method. This study’s objective was to investigate the influences of our diversified core technique curriculum, a technique survey course, and extracurricular technique activities on students’ future practice technique preferences.

Study authors conducted an anonymous, voluntary survey of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year chiropractic students. Surveys were pretested for face validity, and data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. We had 164 students (78% response rate) participate in the survey. Diversified was the most preferred technique for future practice by students, and more than half who completed the chiropractic technique survey course reported changing their future practice technique choice as a result. The students surveyed agreed that the chiropractic technique curriculum and their experiences with chiropractic practitioners were the two greatest bases for their current practice technique preference, and that their participation in extracurricular technique clubs and seminars was less influential.

Students appear to have the same practice technique preferences as practicing chiropractors. The chiropractic technique curriculum and the students’ experience with chiropractic practitioners seem to have the greatest influence on their choice of chiropractic technique for future practice. Extracurricular activities, including technique clubs and seminars, although well attended, showed a lesser influence on students’ practice technique preferences.