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A survey to examine attitudes and patterns of practice of physiotherapists who perform cervical spine manipulation


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Structural and chiropractic

Man Ther.2002 Feb;7(1):10-8.


L Hurley, K Yardley, A R Gross, L Hendry, L McLaughlin


As part of the process of developing a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) on cervical spine manipulation (CSM), a working group sent out an 82-item postal survey to 150 randomly selected Ontario physiotherapists (PTs) who perform spinal manipulation, to collect information on the socio-demographics, practices, opinions of risk, and attitudes towards CPGs of these PTs (n = 118; response rate = 79%). Of the 118 respondents who performed spinal manipulation, 41 performed CSM. Respondents strongly agreed with three out of six indications listed in the survey for applying CSM: segmental fixation, stiff but stable joint, internal derangement (over 70%). Respondents also strongly agreed (over 88%) that all screening tests listed in the survey should be performed prior to applying CSM: tests for irritability, stability, vascular and neurological systems. Respondents rated patient education, other manual therapy, and exercise as the most common adjuncts to CSM (over 88%). Respondents reported seeing mild complications or side effects only rarely following the application of CSM. Fourteen percent of respondents reported having a written CSM policy or CPG on CSM in their work setting. Feedback from this survey will be used in developing a CSM CPG. A future survey will evaluate changes in clinical practice and in attitudes toward CPGs some time after the dissemination of the CSM CPG.

Publication Date: 

2002 Feb



Hurley, L., Yardley, K., Gross, RA., Hendry, L., Mclaughlin, L. (2002) 'A survey to examine attitudes and patterns of practice of physiotherapists who perform cervical spine manipulation', Man Ther.2002 Feb;7(1):10-8.

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