Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 593–600

An independent review of NCCAM-funded studies of chiropractic

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10067-010-1663-4

Cite this article as:
Ernst, E. & Posadzki, P. Clin Rheumatol (2011) 30: 593. doi:10.1007/s10067-010-1663-4


To promote an independent and critical evaluation of 11 randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of chiropractic funded by the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Electronic searches were conducted to identify all relevant RCTs. Key data were extracted and the risk of bias of each study was determined. Ten RCTs were included, mostly related to chiropractic spinal manipulation for musculoskeletal problems. Their quality was frequently questionable. Several RCTs failed to report adverse effects and the majority was not described in sufficient detail to allow replication. The criticism repeatedly aimed at NCCAM seems justified, as far as their RCTs of chiropractic is concerned. It seems questionable whether such research is worthwhile.


Alternative medicineBiasChiropracticResearchSpinal manipulation

Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical SchoolUniversity of ExeterExeterUK