07 Mar 2016
The Board is very concerned about any chiropractors with advertising (including websites) that may not meet the required standards despite repeated guidance being provided by the Board.
In order to provide further clarity to both practitioners and the public, the Board provides the following clear advice on advertising matters.
Advertising regulated health services
Inappropriate claims of benefit
Patients must be adequately informed when making health care choices. Advertisers must ensure that any statements and claims made in relation to chiropractic care are not false, misleading or deceptive or create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment.
The Board is concerned about a number of practitioners who are making claims in advertising that there is a relationship between manual therapy (e.g. manipulation) for spinal problems and achieving general wellness or treating various organic diseases and infections; or that spinal problems may have a direct role in various organic diseases and infections. There is insufficient scientific evidence to support these claims.
Of particular concern is the number of treatment claims in advertising relating to infants and children. Claims suggesting that manual therapy for spinal problems can assist with general wellness and/or benefit a variety of paediatric syndromes and organic conditions are not supported by satisfactory evidence. This includes claims relating to developmental and behavioural disorders, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders, asthma, infantile colic, bedwetting, ear infections and digestive problems.
Advertising claims that are contrary to high level evidence are unacceptable. High level evidence will usually take the form of meta-analyses, systematic reviews or one or more high quality and well respected and acknowledged studies.
The Board devoted its September 2015 newsletter to providing information to practitioners on advertising related matters and strongly encourages practitioners to review their advertising and ensure it complies with the requirements of the National Law or they risk prosecution and/or disciplinary action.
Chiropractors should not display, promote or provide materials, information or advice that is anti-vaccination in nature and should not make public comment discouraging vaccination.
The Code of conduct for chiropractors notes that all chiropractors have a responsibility to promote the health of the community through disease prevention and control, education and, where relevant, screening.
If patients request information about vaccination, they should be referred to an appropriately qualified health professional for advice.
Care of pregnant patients
Chiropractors are not trained to apply any direct treatment to an unborn child and should not deliver any treatment to the unborn child. Chiropractic care must not be represented or provided as treatment to the unborn child as an obstetric breech correction technique.
For more information
Download a PDF of this Statement on advertising - 7 March 2016 (90.7 KB,PDF)