A Living History—A Qualitative Study of Experienced Chiropractors Treating Visceral Conditions


  • Joan K. Langlois JKL Research Associates
  • Richard H. Parrish II Shenandoah University
  • Ronald Rupert Parker College of Chiropractic
  • Dwain Daniel Parker College of Chiropractic




chiropractic, qualitative study, viscer­al, healing, chiropractors, focus group, interview


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. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0403170


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Author Biographies

Joan K. Langlois, JKL Research Associates

Dr. LANGLOIS is a qualitative sociologist in her research company, JKL Research Associates, Tampa, Florida. Her research focus includes the care giving experience (with emphasis on male caregivers and medication management) and mental health issues. She frequently consults with academia and the pharmaceutical industry on the application of qualitative methodologies to the understanding of medication use, health care behaviors, and care seeking behaviors.

Richard H. Parrish II, Shenandoah University

Dr. PARRISH is interested in studying the narrative nature of therapeutic relationships, and recently completed his first book, Defining drugs: How government became the arbiter of pharmaceutical fact (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers). He is now a medical anthropologist and assistant professor at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University, and consulting pharmacotherapist at Selma Medical Associates in Winchester, Virginia.

Ronald Rupert, Parker College of Chiropractic

Dr. RUPERT is Director of Research for Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas. He is responsible for physical and clinical science research at Parker College, and is the originator and developer of MantisTM, a chiropractic literature database.

Dwain Daniel, Parker College of Chiropractic

Dr. DANIEL is Associate Director of Research at Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas. A licensed Texas chiropractor, Dr Daniel directs clinical and practical research for Parker College.




How to Cite

Langlois, J. K., Parrish II, R. H., Rupert, R., & Daniel, D. (2004). A Living History—A Qualitative Study of Experienced Chiropractors Treating Visceral Conditions. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-5.3.567