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Title: The knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and perceived barriers of chiropractors within the eThekwini Municipality towards evidence-based practice
Authors: Naidoo, Divashni 
Keywords: Chiropractic;Evidence-based practice;Knowledge;Skills;Attitudes;Perceptions;Utilisation
Issue Date: 2018

In the chiropractic profession, it has been an established goal to utilise evidence-based practice (EBP) in clinical practice in order to empower chiropractors to develop effective treatment protocols. However, the extent to which chiropractors are utilising EBP, and the factors associated with its implementation in practice is unknown. The lack of research in this regard suggests that further studies need to be undertaken within the chiropractic profession in South Africa in order to fully understand the relationship of factors which contribute to the adoption and application of EBP by chiropractors in clinical practice. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge of, attitudes towards, perceptions of and perceived barriers towards EBP by chiropractors within the eThekwini municipality.
A pre-validated cross sectional descriptive survey was administered to chiropractors practicing within the eThekwini municipality (n = 101) by hand delivery. The questionnaire was validated by means of a focus group and pilot testing. Participants gave informed consent prior to participation. Data were analysed using using SPSS Statistics 24.0 and Statgraphics Centurion 15.1 (2006) to determine the descriptive and inferential statistics while the open- ended questions were analysed qualitatively using manifest coding.

A response rate of 51% (n=51) was obtained. The majority of respondents were male (51%), mean age of 37.8 years, practicing for less than 19 years, working in full time practice (76.5%) between 40 and 49 hours per week (45.1%). The majority of the respondents had a positive attitude and perception towards EBP with respondents showing a willingness to improve skills (72.6%) and utilisation (52.9%) of EBP. Respondent 15 explained that “it is very important to have the skills in order to utilise EBP. Once you have the skills, utilising EBP becomes easy”. Responses highlighted that respondents are engaging with scientific literature when necessary and possess the skills necessary to utilise EBP. The majority of respondents believe that they had a strong academic foundation in their knowledge and skills related to accessing and interpreting information, yet 47.1% reported not having received formal training in search strategies to access literature. However, most felt confident about their knowledge and skills to utilise EBP. Insufficient time (66.7%), lack of generalisability of the literature findings to their patient population (49.0%) and the inability to apply research findings to individual patients with unique characteristics (45.1%) were the three top barriers identified. Respondent 12 described: “most articles are vague or time consuming and searching for

relevant, up to date and reliable articles is a difficult process that can take a lot of time” as a possible barrier to utilising EBP.

The respondents in this study had a favourable attitude towards, and perception of, EBP and its usefulness to chiropractic practice. However, like other healthcare professionals they felt that they had insufficient time to utilise EBP. This study also highlighted the importance of academic institutions providing the necessary skills required to utilise EBP. It is recommended that workshops focusing on EBP principles and training are arranged to assist practitioners in integrating EBP into practice
Submitted in partial compliance with the requirements for the Master’s Degree in Technology: Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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