192153 Chiropractic students' attitudes toward physical therapy

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:45 AM

Lynda J. Dimitroff, PhD, BSN, RN, CHES , Department of Physical Therapy, Ithaca College, Rochester, NY
Historically, there has been tension among different professions in the medical field (Gray, et al, 1997). One example of this tension is between chiropractors and physical therapists. Chiropractors and physical therapists have overlapping scopes of practice which may contribute to the debate of perceived competition for patients (Manceaux, 1987). There is minimal evidence in the literature to state that this tension exists. This research examines the attitudes of chiropractic students toward physical therapy. According to the literature, attitudes are formed through both direct and indirect experience (Fazio, et al., 2004) and tend to influence future behavior (Glasman & Albarracin, 2006). A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted with 27 chiropractic students from a college in upstate New York. Interviews were transcribed and data were examined through constant-comparative analysis to identify twelve emergent themes. The themes included: 1) personal and professional experience influenced career choice; 2) students interviewed wanted to be in a helping profession; 3) students had a direct experience with physical therapy 4) students had an indirect experience with physical therapy; 5) students were taught that physical therapists perform rehabilitation/active care; 6) students are taught minimal information in their program about physical therapy; 7) direct experiences influenced the students' perspectives on physical therapy; 8) indirect experiences influenced the students' perspectives on physical therapy; 9) physical therapy has its time and place; 10) chiropractic students believe it is in the patients best interest to collaborate; 11) students reported physical therapy is beneficial; and, 12) students acknowledged tension.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe chiropractic students' attitudes toward physical therapy. 2) Discuss the importance of providing opportunities for education and interaction among chiropractic and physical therapy students.

Keywords: Chiropractic, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Health Education, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Associate Professor, Physical Therapy Ithaca College; Interim Director of Nursing Research & Evidence-Based Practice
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.