The purpose of this study was to determine the knowledge and attitudes toward COVID-19 and perceived behavioral modification of South African chiropractic students returning to clinical training during the COVID-19 pandemic.


An online survey was administered to students registered for clinical training in South African chiropractic programs. The survey consisted of questions related to knowledge and attitudes toward COVID-19 and perceptions on behavioral modification in the form of personal protective equipment (PPE) use to prevent transmission.


Out of 129 participants, there was a 69% response rate (n = 89), with a mean age of 25 (±2.39) years and 75% were females. They had an acceptable level of knowledge (67.9%). There was a favorable perception score about COVID-19 (98.8%) but a poor perception of the role of PPE. They expressed concern about returning to clinical training (62.9%) but were prepared to return to serve their patients during the pandemic (72%).


Chiropractic students within South Africa demonstrated good attitudes, knowledge, and perception toward the measures required to return safely to the clinical environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a level of stress associated with potential infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), mostly for onward transmission to family members.

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Author notes

Christopher Yelverton is the head of the Department of Chiropractic at the University of Johannesburg (John Orr Building, 7th Floor, 55 Beit St, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, 2028, South Africa; chrisy@uj.ac.za).

Concept development: LO, CY. Design: LO. Data collection/processing: LO. Analysis/interpretation: LO, CY. Literature search: LO. Writing: LO, CY. Critical review: LO, CY.