Intended for healthcare professionals


Chiropractic for paediatric conditions: substantial evidence?

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 09 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2766
  1. Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter
  1. Edzard.Ernst{at}

    The vice president of the British Chiropractic Association, Richard Brown, writes that there is “substantial evidence for the BCA to have made claims that chiropractic can help various childhood conditions.”1 The association made similar statements in a press release,2 because the science writer Simon Singh questioned statements made on the association’s website about childhood asthma, otitis, colic, feeding problems, sleeping problems, and prolonged crying.3 To back up his statement Brown provided 19 references.4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

    Several of these references do not contain data relating to chiropractic treatment of the above named conditions.9 10 11 15 (See table.) Of the remaining 15, eight articles do not refer to controlled clinical trials but to retrospective analyses, observational studies, questionnaire surveys, and case reports, which tell us little …

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