To establish a data bank which will serve as a comprehensive inventory of data and document practical information on Canada’s licensed chiropractors and to produce a summary report of this information.
A national census mail survey.
Canada. The survey administration timeline during which information was collected was the period of August 1995 to July 1996.
All chiropractors licensed to practice chiropractic in Canada, excluding chiropractors practising in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. A total of 4,246 questionnaires were mailed, of which 121 were ineligible. There were 2,905 valid responses (response rate 70.4%).
Main outcome measures:
Background information (demographics), professional activity, educational, training and affiliations, practice characteristics, finances and income.
Background information: 82.8% of all respondents were male. On January 1, 1997, the mean age of all respondents was 41.9 years. 88.6% of all respondents were born in Canada and 74.8% graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. The mean number of years in practice by all respondents was 13.7 years. 17.5% of all respondents had more than one practice location. Professional activity: A total of 96.2% of the respondents were active chiropractors (a chiropractor in active practice was one whose level of activity was self-described as full-time, part-time or semi-retired and who was in practice at least 10 hours per week). 85% reported being in full-time practice, 8.7% in part-time practice and 2.5% reported being semi-retired. Full-time chiropractors reported working on average 41.3 hours per week, 49.1 weeks per year and receiving 158.6 total patient visits per week. Active chiropractors reported spending on average 75.1% of their work time on direct patient care. 39.6% of active chiropractors reported that their practice had decreased over the last three years (in terms of number of patient visits). Education, training and affiliations: 42.1% of all respondents had obtained a baccalaureate degree prior to attending chiropractic college. 3.7% of all respondents held a CCA recognized specialty certification. 15.5% of all respondents held a certification or were registered to practice naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage therapy or other related discipline. Practice Characteristics: 69.1% of active chiropractors reported being in sole proprietorship, and 85.3% reported working in a private chiropractic office. On an aggregate basis, active chiropractors reported using diversified techniques on 77.3% of their patients. Chiropractors in active practice reported treating on average 86.3% of their patients for primary conditions of a neuromusculoskeletal nature. Active chiropractors reported that their current patients were their greatest source of patient referrals, accounting for on average 58.5% of all their patients. Finances and Income: In provinces with public insurance for chiropractic services (Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia) active chiropractors reported deriving on average 39.7% of their practice income from the provincial plan, 44.7% directly from the patient, 9.6% from a third party payer and 6.1% from workers’ compensation boards. 56.2% of active chiropractors reported a gross annual practice income of less than $150,000 whereas 14.1% reported earning $250,000 or more. 49.5% of active chiropractors reported a net annual practice income of less than $60,000 whereas 21.4% reported earning $100,000 or more. In aggregate, active chiropractors reported that 37.3% of their patients exhausted their public insurance coverage for chiropractic care (in provinces where public insurance is available), and of those patients 35.3% discontinued care.
This report is a first attempt to document a statistical portrait of Canada’s chiropractors. The report has been prepared by using data derived from the Canadian Chiropractic Resource Databank (CCRD), a data bank (housed at the CCA) which now holds a comprehensive inventory of data and practical information on Canada’s licensed chiropractors. The data is now available for use internally by the CCA or by external audiences who may need statistical information from time to time. It is hoped that the survey which led to the establishment of the CCRD will be repeated on a periodic basis, with requisite modifications, to update the data bank and to determine longitudinal trends regarding the chiropractic profession in Canada. The CCRD can be an important source of information for decision making and planning.