Attitudes of Australian chiropractic students towards anatomy and chemistry

Goran Štrkalj*, Kehui Luo, Curtis Thor Rigney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Education of chiropractic students has traditionally been based on a good grounding in basic sciences. However, the place and significance of these disciplines in chiropractic education, as well as student, staff and clinician attitudes towards them have been rarely investigated. In this study, the attitudes of Macquarie University chiropractic students towards anatomy and chemistry were examined, using a modified version of the questionnaire previously used in a survey of medical students in the UK and France. Pearson's chi-square test and logistic regression were used in data analysis. The results suggest that chiropractic students recognize anatomy as a very important subject in their education while chemistry is perceived as a subject of lesser importance. Several factors are suggested as reasons for this difference. Chiropractic is a health profession focused on musculoskeletal disorders, for which manual therapy is the major treatment approach, and this makes the importance of anatomy almost self-evident. It is also argued that the other major factor influencing students' attitudes is the way anatomy is currently taught at Macquarie University and other chiropractic schools in Australia. Following the recent evolution in anatomy education for health professionals, anatomy has become better integrated within the chiropractic curricula with strong applied and clinical focus. This indicates that an efficient integration of basic sciences into a chiropractic or other health profession curricula could contribute towards the better and easier recognition of their importance among the student body.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-198
    Number of pages8
    JournalThe Anthropologist
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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