BCA Response

May 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic) (, )

This is interesting for several reasons. One is perhaps something that I find more interesting than you will*. Another is their claim that  “The BCA does review the content of its website periodically and it is not, and never has been our practice to comment on systematic reviews of chiropractic, particularly when many of these have been demonstrated to be flawed in their own analysis of the studies which have been reviewed.”

I’d love them to comment on these “flawed” systematic reviews, but apparently it is their policy not to. How fascinating. I actually think it’s rather revealing that the BCA claims systematic reviews are flawed but will not otherwise comment on systematic reviews so we can’t possibly know what their specific complaints are.

I also found this of interest: “Irrespective of the fact that the RCGP Guidelines were withdrawn in 2005 by the RCGP, having been promulgated following the Department of Health’s Clinical Standards Advisory Group Report in 1994, they are an important publication and this is why they remain on the site.” I’m not sure why they think that withdrawn guidelines are an important publication, but systematic reviews apparently are not. Should I ask them?

Anyway, here, in full, is the email I got:

Dear Mr Cole

Thank you for your recent email correspondence. In your emails you have variously referred to chiropractic and used it synonymously with spinal manipulation. While spinal manipulation is one of the widely used treatment techniques used by chiropractors it is by no means the only one. Chiropractic is a statutorily regulated primary healthcare profession, not a treatment. In assessing patients a full case history and examination is undertaken, along with any other indicated investigations. Only then is a diagnosis made and a treatment plan formulated. The BCA does review the content of its website periodically and it is not, and never has been our practice to comment on systematic reviews of chiropractic, particularly when many of these have been demonstrated to be flawed in their own analysis of the studies which have been reviewed. Irrespective of the fact that the RCGP Guidelines were withdrawn in 2005 by the RCGP, having been promulgated following the Department of Health’s Clinical Standards Advisory Group Report in 1994, they are an important publication and this is why they remain on the site. I am sure you will be aware of the impending publication by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence of guidelines for the management of low back pain – these are due to be published tomorrow and you will be able to view these on the NICE website http://www.nice.org.uk/ – these make the case for the effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy for the treatment of low back pain.

Regards,

Sue Wakefield

If they ignore systematic reviews, claiming they are flawed, then what is their opinion of single trials? Surely a single trial is more likely to be flawed than a systematic review? Why, then do they cite single trials of chiropractic and trumpet them under the banner “Research Supports Chiropractic”?

*The BCA have either been checking up on me using their google fu or (perhaps more likely) has been contacted by Bassett Chiropractic regarding my communications to them. I failed to give the BCA my full name when I emailed them, but they have responded to me with an email that has the subject heading “CORRESPONDENCE FROM “JAMES” jdc 325 – aka JAMES COLE”. Bassett, on the other hand, did receive communications that had my full name attached.

More

Original post on the BCA research page; my email to the BCA; my follow-up email.

10 Comments

  1. Lafayette said,

    It does seem the BCA is a bit of a secretive organisation.

  2. pv said,

    That’s because they think no-one ought to know that their claims are bogus – not supported by the evidence. It would damage their business model. Why else be secret?

  3. Warhelmet said,

    I suspect that Richard Lanigan will crop up here to tell you about the BCA. He is certainly doing the rounds…

  4. jdc325 said,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I’ve scribbled some more questions for the BCA following their email to me. I’ll probably be posting them on my blog later on today.

  5. Smart Bombs said,

    Is she any relation to Andrew?

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