Monday, 30 May 2016

Informed consent for chiropractic care: Comparing patients' perceptions to the legal perspective

Volume 20, Issue 3, June 2015, Pages 463–468



This study explored chiropractic patients' perceptions of exchanging risk information during informed consent and compared them with the legal perspective of the informed consent process.


Interviews were conducted with 26 participants, recruited from chiropractic clinics. Transcripts were analysed using a constant comparative method of analysis.


Participants experienced informed consent as an on-going process where risk information informed their decisions to receive treatment throughout four distinct stages. In the first stage, information acquired prior to arriving at the clinic for treatment shaped perceptions of risk. In stage two, participants assessed the perceived competence of their practitioners. Participants then signed the consent form and discussed the risks with their practitioners. Finally, they communicated with their practitioners during treatment to ensure their pain threshold was not crossed.


These findings suggest that chiropractic patients perceive informed consent as a process involving communication with their practitioners, and that it is possible to educate patients about the risks associated with treatment while satisfying the legal requirements of informed consent.


  • Informed consent;
  • Spinal manipulation;
  • Chiropractic
Corresponding author. 144 College Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3M2, Canada. Tel.: +1 289 828 4698.