At this time, the scientific evidence base supporting the effectiveness of chiropractic care for musculoskeletal conditions has not yet definitively addressed its appropriateness for older adults. Expert consensus, as a form of evidence, must be considered when higher levels of evidence are lacking. The purpose of this project was to develop a document with evidence-based recommendations on the best practices for chiropractic care of older adults.
A set of 50 seed statements was developed, based on the clinical experience of the multidisciplinary steering committee and the results of an extensive literature review. A formal Delphi process was conducted, following the rigorous RAND-UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) methodology. The statements were circulated electronically to the Delphi panel until consensus was reached. Consensus was defined as agreement by at least 80% of the panelists. There were 28 panelists from 17 US states and Canada, including 24 doctors of chiropractic, 1 physical therapist, 1 nurse, 1 psychologist, and 1 acupuncturist.
The Delphi process was conducted in January-February 2010; all 28 panelists completed the process. Consensus was reached on all statements in 2 rounds. The resulting best practice document defined the parameters of an appropriate approach to chiropractic care for older adults, and is presented in this article.
A multidisciplinary panel of experienced chiropractors was able to reach a high level (80%) of consensus on evidence-informed best practices for the chiropractic approach to evaluation, management, and manual treatment for older adult patients.
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Accepted: June 8, 2010
Received in revised form: May 20, 2010
Received: April 19, 2010
© 2010 National University of Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.