An independent review of NCCAM-funded studies of chiropractic

Clin Rheumatol. 2011 May;30(5):593-600. doi: 10.1007/s10067-010-1663-4. Epub 2011 Jan 5.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Back Pain / therapy
  • Bias
  • Chiropractic / economics
  • Chiropractic / standards*
  • Chiropractic / trends*
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Spinal
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • Risk