Chiropractic therapy for kids who want “rigorous” screening in BC

The body that regulates chiropractors in BC promises a thorough review of the scientific evidence about chiropractic treatments for children.

The move comes after the College of Chiropractors of BC received a complaint from a healthcare professional about a chiropractor promoting therapies for children, according to interim college registrar Richard Simpson.

“There is a considerable body of evidence supporting the benefits of chiropractic treatment for patients of all ages. Still, the CCBC is committed to evidence-based practice, best practices and marketing standards, ”Simpson wrote in an email.

“As a result, the Board of Directors has decided to proceed with a rigorous review and evaluation of the research and evidence on this and other topics.”

He added that the college is keen to review the evidence for chiropractic therapies with patients of all ages.

“The college has received a number of documents from citizens and registrants that are supposedly acceptable evidence of one form of treatment or another. Even as a layperson, I believe that most, if not all, documents would fail to test acceptable evidence, “Simpson wrote.

These reviews have not yet started and the College has not yet agreed on a process to analyze the current evidence. Simpson said it is possible that the reviews will be part of a national process which the college believes is “in the best interests of the profession.”

“Zero evidence” supports the treatment of babies

The news comes as some chiropractors in other parts of the country are under review for their treatment of babies, including newborns.

In an interview with CBC, Bernie Garrett, a UBC nursing professor investigating health care deception, described the college’s proposed review of children’s chiropractic care as “excellent news”.

“There’s virtually no evidence of any benefits, especially in infants,” Garrett said. If you also ask a pediatrician or pediatric society, they will confirm that there is no indication for chiropractic care in infants or children unless there is obviously one [spinal] Problems. “

According to a position paper from the Canadian Pediatric Society, there are no satisfactory studies on chiropractic treatments for back pain in children. Some studies have shown that chiropractic manipulation of the neck in children can provide short-term relief from neck pain, but its effectiveness has not been compared to other therapies, the paper says.

Garrett said he wanted a ban on chiropractic care for infants in British Columbia, as well as strict guidelines for the treatment of other children.

67 chiropractors under investigation

The college has already banned chiropractors from treating a long list of childhood diseases as part of its new guidelines on efficacy claims. This policy, which went into effect last October, prohibits chiropractors from making unscientific and unsupported claims about the treatment of Alzheimer’s and cancer, including autism, ear infections and ADHD.

All practitioners had until November 1st to bring their advertisements into line with the new policy or to face an investigation and possible disciplinary action.

So far, 67 chiropractors have been investigated for possible violations of the policy, 53 have agreed to warnings, paid fines and signed letters of commitment to comply with the rules immediately. Another 13 have hired lawyers, and one has yet to respond.

“Overall, I’m satisfied that the vast majority of BC’s 1,200+ chiropractors understand the importance of having a clear, focused policy on efficacy claims. For the handful of registrants who may be non-compliant, the college quickly identified, shared directly with them to discuss the issue and referred concerns to the committee of inquiry for consideration, “Simpson said.

He said all policy violations were identified by the college, which has developed a scanning program that searches websites and social media for keywords. The college plans to keep updating the policy as it reviews scientific evidence about treatments.

Vancouver chiropractor Avtar Jassal resigned from his position as vice chairman of the college board of directors after creating a video falsely claiming smoothies were more effective than vaccinations for preventing the flu. (Facebook)

Unproven claims by BC chiropractors became a public issue last year after CBC reported on a Facebook video created by then-vice chairman of the college board, Avtar Jassal. In the video, he falsely claimed that smoothies were more effective than vaccination at preventing flu.

This video violated the college’s vaccination policy, which prohibits chiropractors from providing advice on vaccination issues. The video was removed from Facebook and Jassal resigned from the board after reporting from CBC.

On Monday, the college announced that Jassal had agreed to be reprimanded and fined last summer following an investigation by an independent inspector.

Is there more to this story? Contact the reporter by email at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca

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