A Living History—A Qualitative Study of Experienced Chiropractors Treating Visceral Conditions
he purpose of this ethnographic study was two-fold: (1) to investigate the nature of chiropractic treatments used by experienced practitioners for visceral conditions; and (2) to compare and contrast two methods of data collection—focus group and individual interview methodologies. We identified participants from a list of chiropractors with active licenses in 2001 obtained from the Texas Board of Chiropractic. All participants were audio and videotaped during focus group and individual interviews. A person knowledgeable in chiropractic terminology transcribed all audiotapes and viewed the videotape simultaneously. Primary documents were entered into Atlas.ti, a qualitative data analysis software package. The experiences of these seasoned Texas chiropractors describe a practice world in which a confident healer: (1) listened to, palpated, and educated patients; (2) adjusted for visceral and neuromusculoskeletal problems; and (3) developed therapeutic relationships by successfully explaining and applying chiropractic principles. Their confidence as healers was a consistent and durable theme, supported by four other themes: chiropractic history and philosophy; doctor-patient relationship; independence; and therapeutics. Individual interviews generated richer description for the topic of visceral conditions. One or two participants tended to dominate focus group discussion who reduced the level of meaningful interaction between participants.
chiropractic; qualitative study; visceral; healing; chiropractors; focus group; interview