Public Notice: Results of the review of spinal manipulative therapy in children under the age of 10

The College of Chiropractors of British Columbia (CCBC) has concluded their review of the use of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in children under the age of 101. After considering all of the available evidence, including an independent research review, the Board has determined that the treatment of children with SMT does not present a significant risk to the public. Although the Board will not pursue regulatory action at this time, the CCBC continues to monitor the situation.

Following concerns raised in other jurisdictions, the CCBC Board ordered a significant review of research, information and regulatory approaches in relation to the treatment of children with SMT on July 8, 2019. When the review was announced, the CCBC committed to being transparent in this process. As part of this review, the Board completed the following actions:

• Engaged with researchers to conduct an independent rapid research review into the safety of SMT for children under 10 years of age. This research is going through a formal publication process and will be shared upon conclusion of this process.

• Consulted with an independent organization to conduct a scan of policies, guidelines and regulations regarding the treatment of children with SMT by chiropractors from other jurisdictions, both domestically and internationally.

• Consulted with an independent organization to scan the curriculum of chiropractic education programs related to the treatment of infants and children.

• Reminded BC chiropractors of their professional obligations to all patients, including children, and the need to carefully consider each patient’s unique circumstances and condition, including their age. Treatment must be based on the best available evidence, as is expected of chiropractors when treating patients of any age.

• Discussed these findings at the open session of their September 25, 2019 Board Meeting.

Going forward, the CCBC remains vigilant on this topic and will monitor the literature and new research as it becomes available. We will also continue to remind chiropractors to ensure that treatment is appropriate for the patient’s condition, is based on the best available evidence and is within the scope of practice of chiropractors in BC.

The CCBC’s priority is the health and safety of British Columbians through the effective regulation of the chiropractic profession. This review demonstrates our commitment to safeguarding the interests of the public.

1 World Health Organization definition of a child is persons under 10 years of age (0-9)

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