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The identity of chiropractic practice with special reference to Western Europe: a literature review

Journal/Book: Europ J Chiro. 1990; 38: 41-55.

Abstract: The European Chiropractors' Union (ECU) was founded in June 1932 in London, UK, and in 1968, the union proposed a comprehensive definition of chiropractic. Yet, despite the considerable research which has been carried out since then, there are still no coherent answers to the questions, 'What is a chiropractor?', 'Who are his patients?', and 'What does he do to his patients?' in the European context. Nevertheless, with the approaching unification of much of Europe and changes in legislation, these key questions need to be addressed, and with this in mind, a 3-year Postgraduate Research Studentship based at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) and supported by the ECU commenced in June 1989. The principal aim was to conduct a major survey of chiropractic practice in Europe. This paper reviews the literature related to such an investigation.Pre-determined criteria for searching the literature were used mainly to obtain 'hard data' to elucidate the three questions which comprise the core of the study (Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics 1981). Emphasis was placed an epidemiological aspects and recent trends in the methodology of reviewing the literature were considered (Lilienfeld 1978; Hildebrandt 1989). Thus, historical anecdotes and papers merely expressing opinions were by and large avoided, except where considered particularly important.

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