Jeffrey R. Cates, DC,a David N. Young, DC, PhD,b David J. Guerriero, DC,c Warren T. Jahn, DC,d Jesse P. Armine, DC,e Alan B. Korbett, DC, DO,f Daniel S. Bowerman, DC,g Robert C. Porter, MD,h Terry Sandman, DC, MPH,i and Robert A. King, DCj


Objective: To evaluate the quality of Recommended Clinical Protocols and Guidelines for the Practice of Chiropractic (ICA guidelines) published by the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), August, 2000.

Methods: The Appraisal Instrument for Clinical Guidelines (Cluzeau instrument) was applied to the ICA guidelines by 10 independent experienced evaluators. An independent, global assessment was also made by each evaluator.

Results: Mean scores (with 95% confidence limit) for each of the instrumentís 3 dimensions were Rigor of Development, 27% (5.1); Context and Content, 18.3% (9.4); and Application, 2% (3.9). The unanimous global assessment was "not recommended as suitable for utilization in practice." Comparison of the ICA guideline scores with the Council on Chiropractic Practiceís Clinical Practice Guideline No. 1, Vertebral Subluxation in Chiropractic Practice (CCP guidelines) scores and Guidelines for Chiropractic Quality Assurance and Practice Parameters (Mercy guidelines) Cluzeau instrument-based scores revealed that the ICA guidelines received slightly higher scores than the CCP guidelines but substantially lower scores than the Mercy guidelines for all dimensions.

Conclusion: The ICA guidelines were assessed as not suitable for utilization in chiropractic practice. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003;26:282-86)

Key Indexing Terms: Guidelines; Chiropractic; Clinical Practice; Validity.

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