Recommended Reading For Chiropractors

June 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm (Alternative Medicine, Books, Chiropractic) (, , , , , , )

Having corresponded with both the BCA and Bassett Chiropractic Clinics – and received a data dump of some of Tedd Koren’s work in the comments section of a recent post – I am beginning to get a feel for how well chiropractors understand research. I post here some suggested reading for chiropractors in the hope that they may improve their skills and become better at appraising scientific evidence*.

1. How to critically appraise an article (Jane M Young and Michael J Solomon). http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v6/n2/full/ncpgasthep1331.html? (How to evaluate study design and assess methodology – tells you the key points to consider when reading an article.)

2. How to Read a Paper (Trisha Greenhalgh). http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_5a0UyIOx_MC&printsec=frontcover#PPP1,M1 (Ronseal – this book does exactly what it says on the tin.)

3. Evidence-Based Medicine – what it is and what it isn’t (David L Sackett, William M C Rosenberg, J A Muir Gray, R Brian Haynes, W Scott Richardson) http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/312/7023/71 (It’s about integrating individual clinical expertise and the best external evidence – e.g., systematic reviews.)

4. Bad Science (Ben Goldacre) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Science-Ben-Goldacre/dp/0007240198 (I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who has a poor understanding of the very nature of evidence.)

5. Irrationality (Stuart Sutherland) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrationality-Stuart-Sutherland/dp/1905177070 (From an Amazon review: “no matter how rational you think you are, I guarantee you will be surprised at some of the errors you unwittingly make”.)

6. On Bullshit (Harry G Frankfurt) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bullshit-Harry-G-Frankfurt/dp/0691122946/ (From Wikipedia: “Frankfurt sketches a theory of bullshit, defining the concept and analyzing its applications.”)

7. Trick or Treatment (Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trick-Treatment-Alternative-Medicine-Trial/dp/0593061292/ (You chiropractors may be familiar with this book, but I suggest that once you have read my recommendations 1-6 above, that you revisit this book and reread the chapter on chiropractic in particular.)

*As Kruger and Dunning pointed out in their classic 1999 paper Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments, “people who are unskilled […] suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.”

I believe that it is our duty to assist the chiropractic community in recognizing their incompetence and in improving their skills – and thus relieve them of this dual burden they carry.

8 Comments

  1. Gonzo said,

    Hahahaha! Funny post!
    I’m thinking of buying book Nr 6.

  2. jdc325 said,

    Hello Gonzo Girl, and thanks for your comment.

    I’ve got a bunch of chiropractors following me on twitter and all my blog posts are automatically fed through to twitter so they will hopefully have seen a post titled “recommended reading for chiropractors” and clicked the linky. Now that really would amuse me.

    Harry G Frankfurt is a professor emeritus of philosophy and writes the way I’d expect a philosophy prof to – but I think that makes it more amusing to read somehow. A learned essay on bullshit just seems slightly odd to me but I really enjoyed reading it. There’s a brief review of it on UWM’s Leader Website “Though a small book with a charming title, On Bullshit is dense reading-an exercise in logic and mental stamina. Frankfurt distinguishes between bullshit and outright lying thusly: “the essence of bullshit is not that it is false, but that it is phony.” In other words, the difference lies not in the product, but rather the process […]”

  3. Martineau chiropractic to check with the BCA « A canna’ change the laws of physics said,

    […] here and finally here), an incapacity nonetheless.  I would also recommend jdc’s helpful article “Recommended Reading For Chiropractors” to any Chiropractors who may be reading […]

  4. Chiropractic Refusal to Engage « jdc325’s Weblog said,

    […] it is likely an honest incapacity (he has also very kindly linked to my posts on the BCA and my recommended reading for chiropractors). Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Bassett Chiropractic: Follow-UpBassett […]

  5. alanhenness said,

    The book, “How to Read a Paper”, is winging its way to me from a well-known online supplier…Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Incompetence and The General Chiropractic Council « jdc325's Weblog said,

    […] reading for chiropractors: my blog post; recommendation number 3 of which may be particularly useful for the GCC: Evidence based medicine: […]

  7. Chiropractic “For Sceptics Only” Pages « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    […] Misinterpreting the Evidence, and Mistaken Connections in Medicine. I have previously provided recommended reading for chiropractors and included Sutherland’s book in my suggestions. Here are some “morals” […]

  8. Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    […] chiropractic-based blog posts include my recommended reading for chiropractors, my opinions on the General Chiropractic Council, and a post titled last of the summer whine […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: