Chiropractors must continue to learn, develop themselves professionally throughout their careers, and become self-directed and lifelong learners. Using an evidence-based approach increases the probability of optimal patient outcomes. But most chiropractors lack knowledge and interest in evidence-based approaches. The purpose of this study was to develop and measure the effectiveness of evidence-based training for chiropractic practitioners in a continuing education setting.
We developed and evaluated a continuing education workshop on evidence-based principles and methods for chiropractic practitioners. Forty-seven chiropractors participated in the training and testing. The course consisted of 12.5 hours of training in which practitioners learned to develop focused questions, search electronic data bases, critically review articles and apply information from the literature to specific clinical questions. Following the workshop, we assessed the program performance through the use of knowledge testing and anonymous presentation quality surveys.
Eighty-five percent of the participants completed all of the test, survey and data collection items. Pretest knowledge scores (15-item test) were low (47%). Post intervention scores (15-item test) improved with an effect size of 2.0. A 59-item knowledge posttest yielded very good results (mean score 88%). The quality of presentation was rated very good, and most participants (90%) would "definitely recommend" or "recommend" the workshop to a colleague.
The results of the study suggest that the continuing education course was effective in enhancing knowledge in the evidence-based approach and that the presentation was well accepted.