Objective

To summarize the prevalence of suicide-related terminology in US doctor of chiropractic educational programs, residency programs, continuing education training, diplomate training programs, and state licensure requirements. The secondary objective was to provide next-step recommendations to enhance suicide prevention education and training for the profession.

Methods

A review of public-facing electronic documents and websites occurred from April to May 2020 for doctor of chiropractic program course catalogs, residency program curriculum overviews, state licensing requirements, candidate handbooks for the chiropractic specialties, and continuing education training. Data were extracted to tables reflecting the state of suicide prevention training and suicide-related terminology. Descriptive statistics were used to report the findings.

Results

Of 19 doctor of chiropractic programs, 54 relevant courses were identified. No course catalogs specifically mentioned suicide prevention education, but specific risk factor-related terminology was highlighted. For the 10 doctor of chiropractic residency programs, all required mandatory trainee training, which included suicide prevention education. Two states required suicide prevention education training as part of the state re-licensure process and are available through 4 continuing education courses. No diplomate training program handbooks included a requirement of suicide prevention education though suicide risk-factor terminology was described in some handbooks.

Conclusion

The state of suicide prevention training in the chiropractic profession documented in handbooks is largely lacking and widely varied at this time. The development of profession-specific suicide prevention continuing education may be beneficial for practicing chiropractors, and suicide prevention curriculum development at the doctor of chiropractic programs may prepare future doctors of chiropractic.

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Author notes

Morgan Price is a chiropractic resident at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System (9600 Veterans Dr. Southwest, Tacoma, WA 98493-0003; pricemorganr@gmail.com). Clinton Daniels is a staff chiropractor and chiropractic residency program director at VA Puget Sound Health Care System and adjunct faculty member of the University of Western States (VA Puget Sound Health Care System, 9600 Veterans Dr. Southwest, Tacoma, WA 98493-0003; clinton.daniels@va.gov). This article was received March 15, 2021; revised May 19, 2021 and July 8, 2021; and accepted July 20, 2021.

Concept development: ZAC, CJD. Design: ZAC, CJD. Supervision: ZAC. Data collection/processing: ZAC, CJD, MP. Analysis/interpretation: ZAC, CJD, MP. Literature search: ZAC. Writing: ZAC, CJD. Critical review: ZAC, CJD, MP.