Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Low patient withdrawal rate after C-Spine disclosure

Maria DiDanieli   

Features Clinical Patient Care

Oct 28,
Bournemouth, U.K. – A new study that examines the rate of patient withdrawal from
treatment as a result of disclosure of possible risks associated with
manipulation of the cervical spine suggests that fear of this occurring is

Oct. 28, 2010 – Authors
Jennifer Lanworthy and Lianne Forrest of the Anglo-European College of
Chiropractic in Great Britain report in Chiropractic
and Osteopathy, 2010, 18:27,
(published on October 26, 2010), that although
quantifying the actual level of risk from cervical spine manipulation has yet
to be accomplished, it is an infringement on patient autonomy, and to the
process of informed consent, to withhold disclosure of the possibility of such
a risk existing. The authors observe that although chiropractors acknowledge
that they have a moral and ethical responsibility to allow their patients to
give full informed consent, there seems to exist a fear, amongst DCs, of
disclosing risks associated with cervical manipulation lest the patient should
withdraw from treatment out of unfounded alarm.


authors administered a survey to a number of DCs in order to evaluate risk
disclosure philosophy, patterns and methodology.  The results of the survey demonstrated that a
very miniscule number of patients withdrew from treatment as a result of having
risks associated with cervical spine manipulation explained to them.  The authors conclude that, based on these
findings, the fear of losing patients as a result of full disclosure of risks
associated with cervical manipulation is unfounded. 

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