|dc.description.abstract||Background: Many previous South African studies exploring the relationship
between the public, chiropractic and other health care professionals have indicated a
poor level of knowledge and perception between the researched populations. The
aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and perceptions of second and
third year medical students at The Nelson Mandela School of Medicine towards
Objectives: The objectives of this study were firstly, to document the demographic
details of the second and third year participants, secondly, to determine the level of
knowledge and exposure of the second and third year participants to chiropractic,
thirdly, to determine the perceptions of second and third year participants regarding
chiropractic and to compare this between second and third year participants, fourthly,
to determine the utilization of chiropractic by second and third year participants, and
finally, to determine any relationship between demographic factors, knowledge,
perception and utilization of chiropractic.
Method: A survey method was employed with the measuring tool being a
questionnaire. It was decided that only second and third year medical students
would be included in the study.
Results: The response rate of the study was 42.5%. It was found that the majority
of participants were female, of Black ethnicity and all participants were younger than
33 years old.
Participants had a wide range, and a relatively satisfactory level of knowledge of
chiropractic, however, the 3rd year participants had a significantly higher mean
knowledge score than the second years. There was a wide range of perceptions of
chiropractic, but a relatively negative level of perception. There were no significant
differences in perception scores between the groups (p=0.859).
The third year participants seemed to have a better view of the scope of chiropractic
than second year participants. The utilization of chiropractic by the participants, their
friends and family was found to be low.
A few areas of concern, with regards to the limited exposure that medical students
at The Nelson Mandela School of Medicine have towards chiropractic, were raised.
Conclusion and recommendations: It can be concluded that second and third
year medical students from The Nelson Mandela School of Medicine had a generally
poor knowledge and perception of the chiropractic profession, which may be a
possible reason for the poor communication between chiropractors and qualified
The presence of chiropractic students, who served as human anatomy
demonstrators at The Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, may have had an impact
on the results of the study. It is therefore recommended that further studies be done
to investigate the effect that these demonstrators have at The Nelson Mandela
School of Medicine. Basic information on chiropractic should also be included at The
Nelson Mandela School of Medicine to educate medical students on chiropractic.||en_US