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Communicating the Benefits
of Chiropractic Care to Patients
Interview with lawyer, Jeanette, Onyx Legal

Interview Transcript

Ellie Bakker, Marketing Director, Splice Marketing
So, chiropractic care can help with a lot of different, I guess, aches and pains, or issues within the body. But how do you portray all of this, if you're a chiropractor, to a patient? What are the rules around this? Can I just say, "I can cure asthma," or "I can kill back pain," or... Throwing wild ones out there.

Jeanette Jifkins, Principal Lawyer, Onyx Legal
Absolutely. You can't cure anything. It's just, don't use those words.

The, Ahpra guidelines specifically say, if they see the word cure in anything, it's a red flag to them. So if you want to use that word, you are immediately bringing yourself to the attention of the regulator, whether it's you who does it, or somebody finds it and complains about you, so you can't cure anything. But evidence-based suggests there's heaps of things chiropractors can help with. So, "can assist in resolving these issues," "can assist in improvement," so those sorts of general expressions you can certainly use.

And, be very aware of the potentially political environment that you're in, at the moment. I know that the chiropractic board is currently reviewing, in particular, infant chiropractic. So, at the moment, I think there's a ban on advertising any chiropractic for an infant under the age of two years. You need to be aware of those things. So, they post it on the Ahpra website, as particular things of interest to that board, at the moment. You need to be on top of that. And just as part of checking your registration online, if you're visiting the Ahpra website, check the specific chiropractic board areas of importance at the moment, or what they're investigating, and just make sure that you don't stray into those areas, because it's just not worth the risk. Dealing with the regulator is hard work, and stressful, and expensive.

So, if you can make your whole life easier by just paying attention, then please do it.

Ellie Bakker, Marketing Director, Splice Marketing
And, when you mentioned, don't say the word cure before, I know safe and effective is another, well, two other words that you can't use across the health care profession. And a lot of the time, we'll use like, "may help with back pain or neck pain," actual evidence-based results for chiropractors and what they can and can't do.

Jeanette Jifkins, Principal Lawyer, Onyx Legal
Yeah, yeah, that's right. There's plenty of ways you can say what you want to say. You just don't want to be taking it to the extreme.

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