Australian Spinal Research Foundation: it's time to drop the pretence

I’ve covered the anti-vaccinationism associated with the Australian Spinal Research Foundation before. Now it’s time for an evidence-based chiropractor to have a look at the research output of this charitable organisation, which claims research as its raison d’être. Enjoy.

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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0 Responses to Australian Spinal Research Foundation: it's time to drop the pretence

  1. Ken McLeod says:

    NSW law requires at least 50% or donations must go to the purpose for which money was solicited. I see a complaint to the government regulator is in order.

  2. Rhianna says:

    I think a look at the output from the pitiful research grants they provide is in order, too.

    I searched a name and topic that was published as a grant recipient on the ASRF page and could only come up with a single case report published in the topic.

    One wonders why a case report requires funding?

  3. Sue says:

    The latest ASRF newsletter is very revealing. There is an abundance of opinion and hype, lots of ads, no research. For something with the title ”illuminate”, it’s not illuminating in the least.

    Check it out at

  4. Sue says:

    The latest ASRF newsletter ( has a section listing ”Important dates”, including:
    ”‘Evidence informed Chiropractic Paediatric’ with Joel Alcantara.
    Joel Alcantara is a US Chiro who holds the position of Research Director at the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. You can see his cv, including publications, here:
    Take a look at the publications list. Almost all of them are either not yet published, and/or case reports, or one relating to his career before Chiro. There is not one publication reflecting original research.

    Before I am accused on hypocrisy let me point out that, while my own publication list is not as extensive as some, I do not hold a position as director of research.

    The same newsletter also mentions the following event: ‘‘The 6 Pillars of an Epic Paediatric
    Practice’ Post DG Seminar with Dave Jackson. David Jackson appears to be an expert in business development – not in the health care of children. The motto of his site, Epic Practice, is ”serve more, make more, be more” (see it here His approach, like many other Chiropractic motivational speakers, is about practice building. Again, not research.

    So, it there anything wrong with building up your practice and being popular? In itself, no. But, if you call yourself a ”research foundation” and collect money on that basis, you ought to produce some research. If you’re a Director or Research, you might be expected to have a reasonable output of original research, beyond single case reports. And, if you want to treat children, you should do so in ways that are evidence-based and have been shown to improve real outcomes.

    If chiro doesn’t come clean about babies and children, and the non-existence of ”subluxation”, I suspect the profession will be threatened.

  5. Sue says:

    And here are the ”Six Pillars of an Epic Paediatric Practice” (event promoted by ASRF):
    According to Epic Paediatrics:
    1. Philosophy and Mindset
    2. ”Paediatric CHiro Science” (oxymoron?)
    3. Paediatric Procedures – ”From the first phone call to your Consult, Exam, Report and Family Plans, we’ve got you covered like no one else in the profession. This is where ‘Epic’ is defined and you are about to BE the definition!”
    4. Case Interpretation: ”From history to exam and scan interpretation- you’ll know exactly what it all means at a deeper level than any pediatrician or MD could ever pretend to know which is exactly why they’ll be in YOUR office!” (Pretend?)
    5. Epic communication. “you’ll discover and master the essential skills and techniques to communicate absolute value to a child’s parent so they’ll say ‘can we begin now’ instead of ‘I have to think about it’.”
    6. Deliver the Goods. ”Experienced at adjusting kids or not, you’ll shine with certainty and get the results you want.”

    Gob-smacking, Don’t you think? Imagine if a doctor or nurse promoted to their colleagues that they could build up a paediatric practice – not by being trained, skilled or experienced, not by practising evidence-based care, but just by really good marketing. Would that be considered ethical? Would you take your children?

    Rational Chiros – you need to speak out about this stuff!

  6. Annette says:

    Well with all the cash that apparently the ASRF has at its disposal, perhaps they could actually spend some money setting up an adverse events register?
    Putting their money where their mouth is would indeed be novel.

  7. Sue says:

    An extract from the ASRF site, about research proposals they have received for funding:
    ”The results have been greater than could be expected. In our 2012 round, we received 12 expressions of interest. This year, in 2013, we received 22 expressions of interest, from 7 countries. ”

    An organisation with such a big infrastructure and budget crows about receiving only 22 proposals?

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