To determine the intra- and interexaminer reliability of chiropractic methods used to detect manipulable lesions in patients with chronic low back pain.


This study is an intra- and interexaminer reliability study.  Four chiropractors will examine twenty patients suffering from chronic mechanical low back pain.  The examination will consist of common methods that are employed by chiropractors in the state of Victoria to detect manipulable lesions. Each chiropractor will examine each patient on two different occasions to determine where they would direct a manipulative procedure if they were then to go on and treat the patient. Each chiropractor will carry out the procedure blind to the final purpose of the study, and also blind to the results of the other chiropractors. The analysis of the results will be carried out by determining agreement beyond chance for each of the spinal joints of the lumbar spine, and the sacroiliac joints.

Potential Significance

The use of a diagnostic routine that is reliable in classifying patients is an essential part of any health care intervention.  The evaluation of common methods used to detect manipulative lesions will be able to indicate if these procedures, in combination, have good intra- and interexaminer reliability. As chiropractors strive to validate their procedures, this research study will be a unique and significant project in determining if commonly used methods by chiropractors in Victoria do in fact achieve high levels of intra- and interexaminer reliability.

Grant Value: $1320
Chief Investigator: Dr Simon French – Monash University
Status: Complete


Final Report: