The relevance of magnetic resonance imaging to chiropractic practice

Gavin B. Lucas, Peter W. Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study was undertaken 1) to establish how chiropractors currently use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the extent to which they do so, 2) to determine the use of MRI in determining diagnosis and/or treatment of a patient, 3) to examine the role chiropractors see MRI playing within their profession in the future, and 4) to determine the importance of MRI-related material in chiropractic education. Design: Electronic questionnaire. Setting: Non- randomised, voluntary electronic mail. Subjects: Members of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia (CAA National) who have provided their association with an electronic mail address. Intervention: None. Questions Asked: Participants were asked 13 questions relating to their use of MRI, its usefulness, their training, and their demographics. Results: Seventy six (76) usable , responses were received, with most chiropractors viewing magnetic resonance images 1 to 5 times per month, generally when the patient already has such images. MRI was reported to be useful in determining a patient's diagnosis and treatment plan. Poor availability of referring by chiropractors for MRI was the main factor felt to restrict MRI use. The majority of chiropractors feel that they were not trained adequately in interpreting images produced using MRI. Conclusions: MRI is not used to a large extent within the chiropractic profession, and most practitioners do not actively seek such images. Results amongst respondents suggesting inadequate training may indicate chiropractic education may benefit from integrating more MRI-related material, as most chiropractors believe this modality should be employed to a greater extent in the future. A main limitation of this study is that it relied on the computer literacy skills of the respondents. Having these skills may also indicate a bias towards practitioners with a greater understanding of technology who may be more inclined to utilise new technology such as MRI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalChiropractic Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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