We will test the effectiveness of an online evidence-based practice (EBP) training program with a subset of complementary and alternative medicine providers, doctors of chiropractic (DC). The sample will comprise of 250 DCs recruited nationally. DCs will be randomized into two groups;one group will be immediately exposed to the online EBP education intervention and the other group will serve as a wait-list control. The outcome measure will be a validated EBP survey instrument;the Evidence-Based practice Attitude and utilization Survey (EBASE). The EBASE has 3 sub-scores: 1) Attitude;2) Skill, and 3) Use. The EBASE will be administered at baseline (0 months) and immediately after completion of the program (6 months). The primary outcome will be the magnitude of change in the EBASE "attitude" sub-score (primary outcome measure) that occurs before/after the educational intervention. Secondary outcome measures include changes in the EBASE "skill" and "use" sub-scores. We hypothesize that the intervention group will demonstrate a significantly greater change in EBP attitude sub- scores compared with the wait-list control group at 6 months (between-group comparison). We also postulate that within the intervention group the post-intervention (6 month) EBASE sub-scores will improve from baseline values. The wait-list control group will be exposed to the same educational program at 6 months, and a within-group comparison will be subsequently performed at 12 months (6 months post-intervention).
The use of online educational programs may enhance the use of evidence-based guidelines and current research findings by a large number of practicing chiropractors on a national scale. This study expects to show that online education can improve the attitudes, skill and use of research evidence within the chiropractic profession. This benefit could then be tested within the context of other complementary and alternative medicine professions including acupuncture, massage therapy, naturopathy, and oriental medicine.