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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Sep;33(7):519-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Are Swiss chiropractors different than other chiropractors? Results of the job analysis survey 2009.

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  • 1Chiropractic Medicine, University of Zürich and Orthopaedic University Hospital of Balgrist, Zürich, Switzerland.



With the start of a new chiropractic program in the faculty of medicine, University of Zürich, an in-depth look at chiropractic practice in Switzerland was needed to help direct the undergraduate and postgraduate education. The purposes of this study were (1) to identify specific characteristics of chiropractic practice in Switzerland to ensure that relevant key competencies particular to practice in this country are covered in the undergraduate and postgraduate chiropractic programs and (2) to compare chiropractic practice in Switzerland to other countries who have completed similar surveys.


Using the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (United States) job analysis survey as a template and adapting questions from the General Chiropractic Council United Kingdom survey, a Swiss questionnaire was created and tested for face and content validity before being placed online for completion by the 260 members of the Swiss Association for Chiropractors. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet, and descriptive statistics were calculated.


The response rate was 70%. Similarities between Swiss chiropractors and their international counterparts were found in the most common conditions treated, the common etiologies of these conditions, the most common age groups seen, and the most common treatment methods used. Differences were found in the high proportion of patients referred directly to chiropractors from varying medical specialists in Switzerland, the fact that the most common category of patient to be seen by chiropractors in Switzerland is the acute followed by the subacute patient, the much higher requirement for continuing education hours in Switzerland, and the reduced use of diagnostic imaging compared with practitioners from the United States.


Chiropractic practice in Switzerland is a government-recognized medical profession with significant interprofessional referrals resulting in earlier chiropractic treatment for many patients. However, Swiss chiropractic practitioners still retain their professional identity and focus of practice.

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