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Vaccine. 2004 Dec 2;23(3):372-9.

Beliefs and behaviours: understanding chiropractors and immunization.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Dr NW, Calgary, Alta., Canada T2N 4N1.



Concerns have been raised about the beliefs and behaviours of chiropractors related to immunization; however, none have systematically examined the relationships between beliefs and behaviours.


We examine the immunization-related behaviours and beliefs of chiropractors in Alberta, Canada, and explore the relationship of beliefs to immunization-related behaviours with patients.


Data were collected in 2002 from a postal survey of Alberta chiropractors. The questionnaire inquired about six behaviours of interest in the six months prior to survey (gave information about risks/benefits of vaccination; advised patients in favour/against have self/children immunized; counselled on freedom of choice; directed to sources of information on immunization). It included items addressing beliefs and norms related to immunization.


The response rate was 78.2% (503/643). Immunization arose with patients at least monthly for 36.5% of respondents, and at least weekly for 9.2%. One quarter advised patients in favour and 27% against having themselves/their children immunized. A parsimonious model of chiropractor pro/anti-vaccination behaviours included beliefs about the efficacy/safety of vaccination, chiropractic philosophy and individual rights.


Similar proportions of chiropractors advise patients in favour or against immunization. A small minority deals with immunization issues frequently. Behaviours can be understood in the context of beliefs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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