My interest in research and in following the very best healthcare practices led me to carry out a study about communicating side-effects and risks of care to patients, so that they can make informed choices about receiving care. In my role as Director of Research for the Royal College of Chiropractors, I conducted this literature study to try and help chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths better understand the research that has been published about both common side-effects (‘benign adverse events’) and extremely rare but potentially serious adverse effects of hands-on spine treatments.
Following an extensive search of medical and scientific research databases to try and identify all research that had been published, I read 250 research papers, before collating and summarising their findings. My research paper was written up to include bullet-pointed key findings that clinicians should note when working with patients. This lengthy process took over a year to complete and I was thrilled that the study was reviewed by experts (who described it as ‘an important piece of work’) and as a result was accepted for publication in a research journal. As a researcher, I can track how often the study is downloaded and read and am also alerted when another researcher references it in their own study. So far my research has been read as far afield as Taiwan, Russia, Australia, South Korea and the US; by physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and researchers and is being referenced in other peoples published research papers.
Gabrielle Swait PhD, Clinic Director