I like to think that I’m a helpful person. So when I found that the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) had missed systematic reviews from their research page it occurred to me that they may be unaware of the existence of these reviews and I could help them out and send them some links. I’ve now done so. I also helpfully pointed out that the 1999 RCGP guidelines had been withdrawn in 2005 but were still listed on the BCA’s research page, which is titled “Research Supports Chiropractic”.
Here’s my email:
I am writing to you regarding the “research supports chiropractic” page on your website. While you have cited guidelines, reports, and individual trials as research supporting spinal manipulation, you seem to have neglected systematic reviews into the therapy. I thought that perhaps you were unaware of these systematic reviews and I therefore decided to contact you with details of these systematic reviews just in case this was the situation. I hope you don’t find this too presumptuous.
For example, there is this review of spinal manipulative therapy for low-back pain: http://mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD000447/frame.html; there’s also a review of spinal manipulation for the treatment of headache disorders: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12383058; if that is of interest to you. There are others looking at the effectiveness of spinal manipulation for conditions such as dysmenorrhoea http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD002119/frame.html.
I also thought I should let you know that the RCGP had withdrawn their Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Acute Low Back Pain (February 1999). The 1999 guidelines are still listed on the BCA’s research page and I thought that perhaps this was an oversight and the withdrawal of the RCGP guidelines had been missed by the BCA. The withdrawal of these guidelines seemingly took place in 2005 and was noted in the GCC newsletter (http://www.gcc-uk.org/files/link_file/GCC_news_15.pdf) of Spring 2005.
There we go. Told you I was a helpful person. Hopefully in the future, the BCA will learn more about systematic reviews and meta analyses and will be able to search them out for themselves without my help. Here’s hoping, anyway.