Assessing attitudes of patient-centred care among students in international chiropractic educational programs: a cross-sectional survey

Karin Hammerich, Kent Stuber, Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, Anser Abbas, Martin Harris, Henrik Hein Lauridsen, Nadège Lemeunier, Michele Maiers, Peter McCarthy, Vanessa Morales, Corrie Myburgh, Vanessa Petrini, Katherine Pohlman, Silvano Mior

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    Background: Patient-centred care is internationally recognized as a foundation of quality patient care. Attitudes of students towards patient-centred care have been assessed in various health professions. However, little is known how chiropractic students' attitudes towards patient-centred care compare to those of other health professions or whether they vary internationally, and between academic programs.

    Objective: To assess the association of select variables on student attitude towards patient-centred care among select chiropractic programs worldwide.

    Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS) to assess students' patient-centred attitudes towards the doctor-patient relationship. Eighteen items were scored on a 1 to 6 Likert scale; higher scores indicating more patient-centredness. All students from seven chiropractic educational programs worldwide were invited to complete an online survey. Results were analyzed descriptively and inferentially for overall, sharing and caring subscales. General linear regression models were used to assess the association of various factors with PPOS scores.

    Results: There were 1858 respondents (48.9% response rate). Student average age was 24.7 (range = 17-58) years and 56.2% were female. The average overall PPOS score was 4.18 (SD = 0.48) and average sharing and caring subscale scores were 3.89 (SD = 0.64) and 4.48 (SD = 0.52), respectively. There were small but significant differences in all PPOS scores by gender, age, and program. Year/semester of study within a program typically was not associated with scores, neither was history of previous chiropractic care nor having family members who are health professionals.

    Conclusion: This is the first international study assessing students' attitudes of patient-centred care in chiropractic educational programs. We found small but significantly different PPOS scores between chiropractic programs worldwide that did not change across year/semester of study. Scores tended to be lower than those reported among medical students. Observed differences may be related to curricular content, extent of patient exposure and/or regional cultural realities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number46
    Number of pages9
    JournalChiropractic & Manual Therapies
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2019


    • Adolescent
    • Adult
    • Attitude of Health Personnel
    • Chiropractic/education
    • Cross-Sectional Studies
    • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
    • Female
    • Humans
    • International Educational Exchange/statistics & numerical data
    • Middle Aged
    • Patient-Centered Care
    • Physician-Patient Relations
    • Students, Medical/psychology
    • Surveys and Questionnaires
    • Young Adult


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