Public Notice – Amendments to the Professional Conduct Handbook and Efficacy Claims Policy: Webster Technique and Pregnancy Related Conditions

The College of Chiropractors of British Columbia (CCBC) has become concerned with statements made by some registrants which suggest that chiropractic care has the ability to turn a breech baby in utero and promote easier birth experiences.  These claims are not well supported by evidence and are therefore misleading to the public.

As a result of our concerns, the CCBC Board approved amendments to the Professional Conduct Handbook (PCH) and Efficacy Claims Policy. These changes include:

  • Amendment of the PCH, Section 14.1 Public Relations and Advertising:
    • Subsection (f) to include reference to the Efficacy Claims Policy which now states: Chiropractors must not advertise health benefits of their services when there is not acceptable evidence that these benefits can be achieved. See Appendix “N” to the Handbook and the Efficacy Claims Policy for additional information.
    • Addition of subsection (g) which states: When communicating with the public, a chiropractor may advertise or reference the Webster Technique or Certification only as “a specific chiropractic sacral analysis and diversified adjustment for all weight-bearing individuals.”
  • Addition of subsections (c) (d) and (e) to Section 3. of the Efficacy Claims Policy Statement which state: Due to the absence of acceptable evidence supporting such claims, registrants must NOT represent to patients or the public that chiropractic:…

 (c) has any beneficial effect on fetal development or position such as: breech/breech turning or position and intrauterine/in utero constraint.

(d) has any beneficial effect on labour or birth such as: easier or shorter labour, preventing the need for medical interventions and preventing premature or traumatic birth.

(e)has any beneficial effect on hormone function or postpartum depression.

When referring to the Webster Technique, registrants may only use the approved definition from 14.1(g) of the PCH and must not imply the ability for this technique to influence fetal positioning.  Use of the terms breech, breech turning, optimal fetal positioning, intrauterine/in-utero constraint or similar terms in relation to chiropractic treatment is not supported by evidence and therefore not permitted.

Additionally, registrants may not claim that chiropractic care has the ability to influence the duration or intensity of labour for a pregnant patient or reduce or prevent birth trauma for the infant.

All registrants are encouraged to be proactive and review their marketing materials, including but not limited to website and social media accounts, to ensure compliance with these amendments.  Statements found to be in breach of the PCH and/or Efficacy Claims Policy after January 30, 2020 will be forwarded to the Inquiry Committee for investigation.  Additionally, members of the public may file a complaint to the College in writing by email, fax or regular mail for investigation.

The CCBC takes their mandate to regulate in the public interest very seriously.  Pregnant patients are potentially more vulnerable than the general patient population and therefore, the CCBC feels strongly about taking these steps to manage health information.

For more information of other examples, please see the following links.

  1. Efficacy Claims Policy
  2. FAQ Document

Michelle Da Roza


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