The first edition of the Journal of the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia was known as COMSIG Review and was published in November, 1992 to coincide with a large conference that COCA had organised in Melbourne.
In the first few years the majority of articles were magazine style reviews, similar to these found in the Australian Family Physician. The first Editor was Bruce Walker and subsequent Editors have included John Drinkwater, Stephanie Campbell and John Reggars. The current Editors in Chief, Peter Tuchin and Henry Pollard, are staff members at Macquarie University, Centre of Chiropractic, with a strong background in science and research and both are currently undertaking post-graduate research degrees.
Over several years the magazine review style was changed in keeping with a more full journal format. An Editorial Board was formed, comprised of chiropractors, osteopaths and medical practitioners, some of whom are world renowned in their particular field of research.
By March, 1996 it was decided to change the name of the journal to Australasian Chiropractic and Osteopathy (ACO). This was a purposeful move to reflect the maturing of the journal and also the growth of the College and in the five years since November 1992, seventy-nine scientific articles have been published.
It is anticipated that the journal will continue to be widely distributed throughout the world, with current subscriptions from all Australian undergraduate chiropractic and osteopathic institutions and the vast majority of international undergraduate institutions.
ACO is currently indexed with Mantis (formerly Chirolars). The Editorial Panel continue to strive for Australasian Chiropractic and Osteopathy inclusion into Index Medicus and thereby Medline. However, it is recognised that readership of chiropractic journals is very low throughout the world and it is unlikely in the near future that any chiropractic journal other than the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics will be included in Index Medicus.
The lack of mainstream international indexing will not stop or prevent the College from producing a first rate journal into the future years of the professions. In fact with the now steady growth in Australian chiropractic and osteopathic research, it is envisaged that ACO will be Australia's leading professional journal. We trust our membership enjoy reading the journal and find many of its articles instructional.
We look forward to any comments from members relating to the production of the journal and any suggestions will be welcomed.
Australasian Chiropractic Osteopathy; journal
For chiropractors and osteopaths after graduation, the learning process continues by way of experience and continuing education (CE). The provision of CE and other vocational services in Queensland between 1996 and 2002 is the subject of this paper.
The Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia (COCA) implemented a plan, which involved continuing education, with speakers from a broad variety of health provider areas; and the introduction of the concepts of evidence-based practice. The plan also involved building membership.
Membership of COCA in Queensland grew from 3 in June 1996 to 167 in 2002. There were a total of 25 COCA symposia in the same period. Evidence-based health care was introduced and attendees were generally satisfied with the conferences.
The development of a vocational body (COCA) for chiropractors and osteopaths in Queensland was achieved. Registrants in the field have supported an organisation that concentrates on the vocational aspects of their practice.
Chiropractic; osteopathy; continuing education; vocational education; evidence-based practice; Queensland
Although rare, vertebrobasilar stroke is the best known of the possible side effects of cervical manipulation. Due to the serious sequelae that may result from cervical manipulation, chiropractors and osteopaths must take the appropriate steps to ensure the risk is minimised. This article outlines how the astute practitioner can minimise this risk. Practitioners must decide on the options for treatment of a patient with neck problems. Practitioners must also advise the patient of these options as part of an appropriate informed consent.
Chiropractic; stroke; manipulation
Chiropractic and osteopathy form a significant part of the healthcare setting in rural and regional Australia, with national registration of practitioners, public subsidies for services and high utilisation by the Australian public. However, despite their significant role in rural and regional Australia, there has been little exploration of the interface between chiropractic and osteopathy and conventional primary health care practitioners in this area. The study aim was to examine the referral practices and factors that underlie referral to chiropractors and osteopaths by rural and regional Australian general practitioners (GPs), by drawing on a sample of GPs in rural and regional New South Wales.
A 27-item questionnaire was sent to all 1486 GPs currently practising in rural and regional Divisions of General Practice in New South Wales, Australia.
A total of 585 GPs responded to the questionnaire, with 49 questionnaires returned as “no longer at this address” (response rate: 40.7%). The majority of GPs (64.1%) referred to a chiropractor or osteopath at least a few times per year while 21.7% stated that they would not refer to a chiropractor or osteopath under any circumstances. Patients asking the GP about CAM (OR=3.59; CI: 1.12, 11.55), GP’s use of CAM practitioners as a major source of information (OR=4.39; 95% CI: 2.04, 9.41), lack of other treatment options (OR=2.41; 95% CI: 1.18, 5.12), access to a wide variety of medical specialists (OR=12.5; 95% CI: 2.4, 50.0), GP’s belief in the efficacy of chiropractic and osteopathy services (OR=3.39; 95% CI: 2.19, 5.25) and experiencing positive results from patients using these services previously (OR=1.67; CI: 1.02, 2.75) were all independently predictive of increased referral to chiropractic and osteopathy services amongst the rural GPs.
There is a significant interface between chiropractic and osteopathy and Australian rural and regional general practice in New South Wales. Although there is generally high support for chiropractic and osteopathy among Australian GPs, this was not absolute and the heterogeneity of responses suggests that there remain tensions between the professions. The significant interface between chiropractic and osteopathy may be due in part to the inclusion of these professions in the publicly subsidised national healthcare delivery scheme. The significant impact of chiropractic and osteopathy and general practice in rural and regional Australian healthcare delivery should serve as an impetus for increased research into chiropractic and osteopathy practice, policy and regulation in these areas.
Chiropractic; Osteopathy; General practice; Rural healthcare; Health services; Referral; Interdisciplinary care; Primary care
While there are studies that describe the patient demographics of both Australian and American chiropractic clinics, such information appears difficult to find for physiotherapy or osteopathic clinics comparative data of any kind doesn't appear to exist. This study attempted to provide this data for Australian practices and to analyse any similarities or differences between populations.
Results obtained for chiropractors and osteopaths would appear to suggest that there may be significant differences between the diagnostic profiles of the two professions. Physiotherapists withdrew from the - process during data collection.
Suggestions are made relating to possible modifications I to the survey instrument and possible directions any future study might take.
Patients; statistics and numerical dam demography; utilisation; chiropractic; osteopathy; databases
Objective: To assess the attitudes of undergraduate chiropractic and osteopathic students at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 1992 on the education they are receiving and on the effectiveness of chiropractic and osteopathic care.
Design: Cross-sectional descriptive survey.
Participants: Undergraduate chiropractic and osteopathic students enrolled at RMIT School of Chiropractic and Osteopathy in 1992.
Results: This study surveyed 272 students, 196 who were chiropractic students and 76 who were osteopathic students from RMIT School of Chiropractic and Osteopathy in Melbourne, Australia. The students that responded represented 73.4% of chiropractic students and 85.4% of osteopathic students currently enrolled in their respective courses. Chiropractic and osteopathic students entered their respective courses from non-chiropractic/non-osteopathic families. More chiropractic students than osteopathic students (1.3:1.0) had their respective course as their first choice when applying for tertiary education. A majority (95.8 chiropractic students and 94.8% osteopathic students) of both groups surveyed were pleased with their choice of course. Students from both disciplines held considerable respect for each other in the care of certain conditions, but did not see the other profession’s care as effective as their own. A greater percentage of osteopathic students believed there was sufficient difference between chiropractic and osteopathy to justify two separate professions (57.6% compared to 97.2%).
Discussion: High quality education is a major aim in our schools and colleges. For this standard to be maintained it requires continual re-evaluation and assessment. Surveys such as this should be performed regularly as a method of evaluating student attitude and how these attitudes change during the course. This would also allow administrators to determine whether they are achieving their academic intentions. An immediate follow up survey asking the same questions is suggested to ascertain whether the same attitudes exist today.
Chiropractic; osteopathic medicine; education; students; attitude
Chiropractic (Greek: done by hand) is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/or manipulation, with a particular focus on joint subluxation (World Health Organization 2005) or mechanical lesion and restoring function. The chiropractor's role in wellness care, prevention and treatment of injury or illness is based on education in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle counseling as well as referral to other health practitioners. Depending on education, geographic location, scope of practice, as well as consumer preference, chiropractors may assume the role of primary care for families who are pursuing a more natural and holistic approach to health care for their families.
To present a perspective on current management of the paediatric patient by members of the chiropractic profession and to make recommendations as to how the profession can safely and effectively manage the paediatric patient.
The chiropractic profession holds the responsibility of ethical and safe practice and requires the cultivation and mastery of both an academic foundation and clinical expertise that distinguishes chiropractic from other disciplines.
Research into the effectiveness of chiropractic care for paediatric patients has lagged behind that of adult care, but this is being addressed through educational programs where research is now being incorporated into academic tracks to attain advanced chiropractic degrees.
Studies in the United States show that over the last several decades, chiropractors are the most common complementary and alternative medicine providers visited by children and adolescents. Chiropractors continue to seek integration with other healthcare providers to provide the most appropriate care for their paediatric patients.
In the interest of what is best for the paediatric population in the future, collaborative efforts for research into the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic care as an alternative healthcare approach for children should be negotiated and are welcomed.
Chiropractic’s success as a health care profession is evidenced in part by the rising number of practitioners. Paradoxically, this success may start to cost the profession, as the number of consumers may not be increasing proportionally. Fewer patients mean less income for practitioners. Some chiropractors are responding to these pressures by marketing health products, and services
To describe the extent to which Alberta chiropractors with websites sold health products and the extent to which fee discounts/service inducements were advertised. To consider these practices in the context of chiropractic codes of conduct and ethics.
Chiropractic websites in the province of Alberta were identified using the online Telus Business Finder and cross-referenced with the Yellow Pages print directories. The websites were searched and an inventory of the health products for sale was recorded. Fee discounts and service inducements were also recorded.
56 websites were identified and reviewed. Just under two-thirds of the chiropractic websites surveyed contained information on health products for sale. Orthotics were sold most often (N = 29 practices; 51.8%), followed by pillows and supports (N = 15: 26.8%), vitamins/nutritional supplements (N = 15; 26.8%) and exercise/rehabilitation products (N = 10; 17.9%). Nine practices (16.1%) offered some type of inducement to potential customers. These included discounts on treatment packages (N = 2; 3.6%), free gait/ posture analyses (N = 2; 3.6%) and free general consultations with the chiropractors (N = 3; 5.4%)
The marketing of health care products and services by chiropractors in Alberta is common. Such practices raise ethical considerations for the profession. Professional guidelines vary on the acceptability of these practices. Consumer and practitioner perspectives and practices regarding retailing need to be further examined.
chiropractor; marketing; ethics; chiropraticien; marketing; déontologie
Low back pain (LBP) is a common and costly problem. Initiatives designed to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate healthcare for LBP include printed evidence-based clinical guidelines. The three professional groups of chiropractic, osteopathy and musculoskeletal physiotherapy in the UK share common ground with their approaches to managing LBP and are amongst those targeted by LBP guidelines. Even so, many seem unaware that such guidelines exist. Furthermore, the behaviour of at least some of these practitioners differs from that recommended in these guidelines.
Few randomised controlled trials evaluating printed information as an intervention to change practitioner behaviour have utilised a no-intervention control. All these trials have used a cluster design and most have methodological flaws. None specifically focus upon practitioner behaviour towards LBP patients. Studies that have investigated other strategies to change practitioner behaviour with LBP patients have produced conflicting results. Although numerous LBP guidelines have been developed worldwide, there is a paucity of data on whether their dissemination actually changes practitioner behaviour. Primarily because of its low unit cost, sending printed information to large numbers of practitioners is an attractive dissemination and implementation strategy. The effect size of such a strategy, at an individual practitioner level, is likely to be small. However, if large numbers of practitioners are targeted, this strategy might achieve meaningful changes at a population level.
The primary aim of this prospective, pragmatic randomised controlled trial is to test the short-term effectiveness (six-months following intervention) of a directly-posted information package on the reported clinical behaviour (primary outcome), attitudes and beliefs of UK chiropractors, osteopaths and musculoskeletal physiotherapists. We sought to randomly allocate a combined sample of 1,800 consenting practitioners to receive either the information package (intervention arm) or no information above that gained during normal practice (control arm). We collected questionnaire data at baseline and six-months post-intervention. The analysis of the primary outcome will assess between-arm differences of proportions of responses to questions on recommendations about activity, work and bed-rest, that fall within categories previously defined by an expert consensus exercise as either 'guideline-consistent' and 'guideline-inconsistent'.
Chiropractic practitioners with accredited qualifications should have the right to diagnose, the right to operate diagnostic imaging machines, and the right to the title doctor and Yee San. This paper reviews chiropractic practice in Hong Kong as well as laws and provisions of the health professions namely Chiropractors Registration Ordinance, Medical Registration Ordinance, Dentists Registration Ordinance, Radiation Ordinance, and the provisions of codes of practice of Medical Laboratory Technologists and Radiographers. The need for amendments of relevant sections of health laws and provisions, which concern chiropractic rights, chiropractic practice, and clinical research of mechanical neuromusculoskeletal disorders is discussed. Patient privileges relevant to chiropractic practice are proposed. The Chinese title Yee San or Yee and the English title Doctor are generic terms. Hence, legally “Yee San” and “Doctor” should not be coined by medical practitioners and vice versa. Diagnostic imaging and laboratory procedures are essential for differential diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal disorders, which may indicate or contraindicate the application of manipulation, and hence are essential for chiropractic practice and clinical research. Proposed amendments of the listed sections of the ordinances and provisions are also outlined.
chiropractic; chiropractic legislation and jurisprudence; chiropractic history; doctor; rights; diagnosis; diagnostic imaging; laboratory diagnosis; Hong Kong; doctor title; health laws
To explore how and when chiropractors are involved in the care of patients younger than 18 years of age, and to examine chiropractors’ beliefs about treating paediatric patients.
A cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 140 chiropractors practising in Alberta. Data were collected by means of a mailed questionnaire, which elicited practice information and chiropractors’ beliefs, and included closed-and open-ended questions related to six vignettes of paediatric health problems.
Fifty-seven per cent of chiropractors responded to the questionnaire. All chiropractors indicated that they treat patients younger than 18 years of age. Nine per cent of respondents do not treat patients younger than age two years, and 4% do not treat patients from ages six to 11 years. On average, 13% of chiropractors’ total patient load over the month preceding the completion of the questionnaires consisted of patients younger than the age of 18 years. With increasing age, patients are more likely to present with musculoskeletal problems (23% of patients younger than age two years, 84% of those aged 14 to 17 years). Chiropractors reported that they provided musculoskeletal treatment regardless of the cause of the problem. A high percentage of chiropractors refer to physicians and reported that they would like to provide concomitant care with physicians.
The present study has shown that chiropractors do treat children and that their opinions about this practice vary by specific condition. In addition, substantial percentages of chiropractors indicated that they would like to work with physicians in treating patients with nonmusculoskeletal conditions.
Not much is known about the French chiropractic profession on, for example, level of consensus on clinical issues.
The first objective was to investigate if French chiropractors' management choices appeared reasonable for various neck problem scenarios. The second objective was to investigate if there was agreement between chiropractors on the patient management. The third objective was to see to which degree and at what stages chiropractors would consider to interact with other health-care practitioners, such as physiotherapists, general practitioners and specialists.
A questionnaire was sent to a randomly selected sample of all French chiropractors known to the national chiropractic college. It consisted of an invitation to participate in the study, a brief case description, and drawings of five stages of how a case of neck pain gradually evolves into a brachialgia to end up with a compromised spinal cord. Each stage offered five management choices. Participants were asked at what stages patients would be treated solely by the chiropractor and when patients would be referred out for second opinion or other care without chiropractic treatment, plus an open ended option, resulting in a "five-by-six" table. The percentages of respondents choosing the different management strategies were identified for the different scenarios and the 95% confidence intervals were calculated. There was a pre hoc agreement on when chiropractic care would or would not be suitable. Consensus was arbitrarily defined as "moderate" when 50- 69% of respondents agreed on the same management choice and as "excellent" when 70% or more provided the same answer. It was expected that inter professional contacts would be rare.
The response rate was 53% out of 254 potential participants. The first two uncomplicated cases would generally have been treated by the chiropractors. As the patient worsened, the responses tended towards external assistance and for the most severe case, the majority of respondents would have referred the patient out. There was excellent consensus for the two extreme cases (the most benign and the most severe), moderate consensus for the cases next to these two and least agreement relating to the "middle" case. Inter-professional collaboration was contemplated mainly for the severe case.
The French chiropractors who participated in this study seem to have a similar approach to patients with neck pain that gradually develops into a brachialgia and worsens. However, it is not known if the large group of non-participants in the study would agree with this treatment strategy.
The chiropractic profession has long considered itself to be a preventive science. Recently the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) has defined a set of standards that must be implemented at all US chiropractic colleges as of January of 2007. These are specific to wellness measures and health promoting efforts that should be performed by chiropractors. This will mandate traditional health promotion and prevention methods be taught to students at accredited colleges and to practicing chiropractors.
To present the idea of performing traditional health promotion and wellness-concepts in chiropractic practice as a call to action for clinicians and generate discussion on the topic.
This manuscript discusses relevant topics of health promotion and prevention for chiropractors and other practicing clinicians that should be made priorities with patients in order to enhance both patient health and community and population health.
All practicing chiropractors, as well as other clinicians should take these new standards from the CCE as a call to action to begin helping patients address the removable causes of morbidity, disability and premature mortality where they exist, in addition to treating their painful spinal conditions.
People with physical disabilities experience barriers to healthcare across all services despite a legal and moral obligation to the contrary. Complementary medicine is considered as supplementary to conventional care and integration of these approaches is essential to achieve optimal care. This paper explores the utilisation of chiropractic services and practitioner experiences of treating wheelchair-users which appears under-reported.
A 20 item questionnaire was posted to 250 randomly selected chiropractors registered with the General Chiropractic Council. Follow-up questionnaires were sent 7 days after the initial return date. Quantitative data were subjected to frequency analysis.
The response rate was 64% (n = 161). The majority (66%) of chiropractors had been in practice less than 10 years and were practice owners (50%). Fifty-two percent of chiropractors sampled had treated a patient in a wheelchair in the previous 5 years. The majority (87%) had treated between 1 and 5 such patients. Patients with multiple sclerosis, stroke and cerebral palsy most commonly presented for treatment. The majority of patients' presenting complaint was musculoskeletal in origin, primarily for pain control. Only 13% of respondents worked in a fully accessible clinic. Impracticality of alterations was the most common reason for inaccessibility.
Wheelchair-users seem to be an underserved patient group in relation to chiropractic services. Chiropractic management is primarily utilised for pain control in patients with physical disabilities in which mobility may be improved or maintained. Co-management of wheelchair-users with GPs appears to be desirable in order to achieve optimal patient care however more research is required regarding the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for a range of disabling conditions. Physical access was identified as a key barrier to accessing care.
chiropractic; wheelchair-user; disabilities; complementary and alternative medicine; access
Current management practices for low back pain have led to rising costs without evidence of improvement in the quality of care. Low back pain remains a diagnostic and management challenge for practitioners of many types and is now thought to be a leading global cause of disability. Beyond many published clinical practice guidelines, there are emerging, evidence-based care-pathways including stratification according to the patient's prognosis, classification-based management, diagnosis-based clinical decision guides and biopsychosocial models of care. A proposed solution for successfully addressing low back pain is to train residents at a chiropractic college public clinic to function as primary spine care practitioners, employing evidence-based care-pathways. The rationale for such is described with expected benefits to patient care, improved financial health of medical delivery systems and the training of chiropractors to successfully fill a niche in the healthcare system.
Low back pain; Diagnosis-based guide; Biopsychosocial; Care-pathways; Primary spine care practitioner
The Chiropractors & Osteopaths Musculo-Skeletal Interest Group evolved from regular clinical meetings at Ringwood Clinic, a multi-disciplinary clinic in Melbourne
In 1987 the Directors of the clinic Bruce F. Walker D.C. and Alison Hogg MB.BS. (Hons), FRACGP. Decided to invite a range of guest speakers (on musculo-skeletal topics) to give an address every 6 weeks
Local practitioners of all persuasions were invited to attend these meetings. Although all groups were represented, by far the greatest interest shown by the chiropractors and osteopaths
In 1989 Peter D. Werth B.App.Sc.(Chiro) joined the team and together with the writer formulated a plan to broaden the list of invited guests to all registered chiropractors and osteopaths in Melbourne
Naturally, this required a larger venue and organisation. After several successful meetings attracting groups of 60 to 70 practitioners we formalised the COMSIG organisation and gained the invaluable assistance of David de l Harpe B.Sc., B.App.Sc.(Chiro), MB.,BS., Shane Carter B.App.Sc.(Chiro) and Simon Clement D.O. on our committee. More recently Shane Carter left for overseas and was ably replaced by Miriam Bourke B.App.Sc.(Chiro)
This year COMSIG incorporated under the name of the long established Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia
So, what is COMSIG and what are it’s objectives? COMSIG is a special interest group of the Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia. More specifically, it is an affiliation of Chiropractors and Osteopaths with interests pertaining to the musculo-skeletal system
The objectives for which COMSIG was established are:
to promote knowledge of disorders of the musculo-skeletal system.to provide a forum for the interchange of ideas related to such disorders.to educate chiropractors, osteopaths and other health professionals about the diagnosis and management of such disorders.to encourage the diagnosis and management of musculo-skeletal disorders in a scientific and ethical manner.to conduct, promote, and arrange meetings, seminars, symposia, conferences, and lectures on musculo-skeletal disorders.to foster research into musculo-skeletal disorders.
Importantly, COMSIG is not a political organisation but rather an academic organisation arising from the practitioner ranks of the professions
We encourage all those with an interest in musculo-skeletal disorders to join COMSIG and participate in its development. An application form is enclosed, or available from the Secretary…
Chiropractic; osteopathy; Australia; education
Saskatchewan’s Joint Chiropractic Professional Review Committee functions to ensure that clinically necessary services are provided to patients. The committee which has both government (payer) and professional representation is created by the Medical Care Insurance Act in Saskatchewan. Examples of committee concerns include frequent visits by individual patients, high number of patients treated per day, poor record keeping, high service per discrete patient value. The article concludes with some suggestions for how to determine if a practitioner’s pattern of practice is unusual and how to respond if contacted by the committee. The strengths of this form of review process include: the committee has a majority of chiropractors, patterns of practice are compared to that of peers, evaluation of patterns of practice uses random sampling of files to be analysed, and guidelines for practice are set by peers using a consensus process.
Joint Chiropractic Professional Review Committee; peer review; services per discrete patient
A definitive diagnosis in chiropractic clinical practice is frequently elusive, yet decisions around management are still necessary. Often, a clinical impression is made after the exclusion of serious illness or injury, and care provided within the context of diagnostic uncertainty. Rather than focussing on labelling the condition, the clinician may choose to develop a defendable management plan since the response to treatment often clarifies the diagnosis.
This paper explores the concept and elements of defensive problem-solving practice, with a view to developing a model of agile, pragmatic decision-making amenable to real-world application. A theoretical framework that reflects the elements of this approach will be offered in order to validate the potential of a so called '3-Questions Model';
Clinical decision-making is considered to be a key characteristic of any modern healthcare practitioner. It is, thus, prudent for chiropractors to re-visit the concept of defensible practice with a view to facilitate capable clinical decision-making and competent patient examination skills. In turn, the perception of competence and trustworthiness of chiropractors within the wider healthcare community helps integration of chiropractic services into broader healthcare settings.
Chiropractor; Clinical decision-making; Differential diagnosis; Red flags; 3-questions model
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is growing in popularity, especially within the pediatric population. Research on CAM practitioners and their specialties, such as pediatrics, is lacking. Within the chiropractic profession, pediatrics is one of the most recently established post-graduate specialty programs. This paper describes the demographic and practice characteristics of doctors of chiropractic with a pediatric diplomate.
218 chiropractors with a pediatric diplomate were invited to complete our survey using either web-based or mailed paper survey methods. Practitioner demographics, practice characteristics, treatment procedures, referral patterns, and patient characteristics were queried with a survey created with the online survey tool, SurveyMonkey©®.
A total of 135 chiropractors responded (62.2% response rate); they were predominantly female (74%) and white (93%). Techniques most commonly used were Diversified, Activator ®, and Thompson with the addition of cranial and extremity manipulation to their chiropractic treatments. Adjunctive therapies commonly provided to patients included recommendations for activities of daily living, corrective or therapeutic exercise, ice pack\cryotherapy, and nutritional counseling. Thirty eight percent of respondents' patients were private pay and 23% had private insurance that was not managed care. Pediatrics represented 31% of the survey respondents' patients. Chiropractors also reported 63% of their work time devoted to direct patient care. Health conditions reportedly treated within the pediatric population included back or neck pain, asthma, birth trauma, colic, constipation, ear infection, head or chest cold, and upper respiratory infections. Referrals made to or from these chiropractors were uncommon.
This mixed mode survey identified similarities and differences between doctors of chiropractic with a pediatric diplomate to other surveys of doctors of chiropractic, CAM professionals, and pediatric healthcare providers. The pediatric diplomate certificate was established in 1993 and provides didactic education over a 2 to 3 year span. The results of this study can be used for historical information as this specialty continues to grow.
Typically a large amount of information is collected during healthcare research and this information needs to be organised in a way that will make it manageable and to facilitate clear reporting. The Chiropractic Observation and Analysis STudy (COAST) was a cross sectional observational study that described the clinical practices of chiropractors in Victoria, Australia. To code chiropractic encounters COAST used the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC-2) with the PLUS general practice clinical terminology to code chiropractic encounters. This paper describes the process by which a chiropractic-profession specific terminology was developed for use in research by expanding the current ICPC-2 PLUS system.
The coder referred to the ICPC-2 PLUS system when coding chiropractor recorded encounter details (reasons for encounter, diagnoses/problems and processes of care). The coder used rules and conventions supplied by the Family Medicine Research Unit at the University of Sydney, the developers of the PLUS system. New chiropractic specific terms and codes were created when a relevant term was not available in ICPC-2 PLUS.
Information was collected from 52 chiropractors who documented 4,464 chiropractor-patient encounters. During the study, 6,225 reasons for encounter and 6,491 diagnoses/problems were documented, coded and analysed; 169 new chiropractic specific terms were added to the ICPC-2 PLUS terminology list. Most new terms were allocated to diagnoses/problems, with reasons for encounter generally well covered in the original ICPC 2 PLUS terminology: 3,074 of the 6,491 (47%) diagnoses/problems and 274 of the 6,225 (4%) reasons for encounter recorded during encounters were coded to a new term. Twenty nine new terms (17%) represented chiropractic processes of care.
While existing ICPC-2 PLUS terminology could not fully represent chiropractic practice, adding terms specific to chiropractic enabled coding of a large number of chiropractic encounters at the desired level. Further, the new system attempted to record the diversity among chiropractic encounters while enabling generalisation for reporting where required. COAST is ongoing, and as such, any further encounters received from chiropractors will enable addition and refinement of ICPC-2 PLUS (Chiro). More research is needed into the diagnosis/problem descriptions used by chiropractors.
Chiropractic; International classification of primary care; Classification; Clinical coding
Chiropractic fee negotiations in Saskatchewan utilize the Chiropractic Compensation Review Committee with recourse to the Chiropractic Consultation Committee. Health care professionals who practise on a fee for service basis provide the government with a budgetary problem. Although the fees are set, the health care provider can determine his own income by deciding how many visit services he/she wishes to provide. In the fiscal years 1981-82 to 1990-91, chiropractors earned $699.00 per year more than one would expect given the increases in fee schedules. Each chiropractor earned $2,329.00 per year more than was necessary to make up for losses due to inflation. The allegation that unnecessary treatments were performed on patients is countered by analysis of the services per discrete patient values by mode of practice. The increased earnings of chiropractors was accomplished by treating an increasing percentage of the population who sought health care. Comparative information was obtained from the four western provinces.
chiropractic fee negotiations; copayment; services per discrete patient; professional practice; physician’s practice patterns; chiropractic; manipulation
The objective of this study was to characterize the practice of pediatric chiropractic.
The study design was a cross-sectional descriptive survey.
The settings were private practices throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
The participants were 548 chiropractors, the majority of whom are practicing in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Main outcome measures
Practitioner demographics (i.e., gender, years in practice, and chiropractic alma mater), practice characteristics (i.e., patient visits per week, practice income reimbursement), and chiropractic technique were surveyed. The practitioners were also asked to indicate common indicators for pediatric presentation, their practice activities (i.e., use of herbal remedies, exercise and rehabilitation, prayer healing, etc.), and referral patterns.
A majority of the responders were female with an average practice experience of 8 years. They attended an average of 133 patient visits per week, with 21% devoted to the care of children (<18 years of age). Practice income was derived primarily from out-of-pocket reimbursement with charges of an average of $127 and $42 for the first and subsequent visits, respectively. These visits were reimbursed to address common conditions of childhood (i.e., asthma, ear infections, etc.). Approach to patient care was spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) augmented with herbal remedies, exercises, rehabilitation, and so on. Wellness care also figured prominently as a motivator for chiropractic care. Fifty-eight percent (58%) indicated an established relationship with an osteopathic or medical physician. Eighty percent (80%) of the responders indicated referring patients to medical practitioners while only 29% indicated receiving a referral from a medical/osteopathic physician.
The chiropractic care of children is a significant aspect of the practice of chiropractic. Further research is warranted to examine the safety and effectiveness of this popular nonallopathic approach to children's health.
Chiropractic treatment for low back pain (LBP) can often be divided into two phases: Initial treatment of the problem to attempt to remove pain and bring it back into its pre-clinical or maximum improvement status, and "maintenance care", during which it is attempted to maintain this status. Although the use of chiropractic maintenance care has been described and discussed in the literature, there is no information as to its precise indications. The objective of this study is to investigate if there is agreement among Swedish chiropractors on the overall patient management for various types of LBP-scenarios, with a special emphasis on maintenance care.
The design was a mailed questionnaire survey. Members of the Swedish Chiropractors' Association, who were participants in previous practice-based research, were sent a closed-end questionnaire consisting of nine case scenarios and six clinical management alternatives and the possibility to create one's own alternative, resulting in a "nine-by-seven" table. The research team defined its own pre hoc choice of "clinically logical" answers based on the team's clinical experience. The frequency of findings was compared to the suggestions of the research team.
Replies were received from 59 (60%) of the 99 persons who were invited to take part in the study. A pattern of self-reported clinical management strategies emerged, largely corresponding to the "clinically logical" answers suggested by the research team. In general, patients of concern would be referred out for a second opinion, cases with early recovery and without a history of previous low back pain would be quickly closed, and cases with quick recovery and a history of recurring events would be considered for maintenance care. However, also other management patterns were noted, in particular in the direction of maintenance care.
To a reasonable extent, Swedish chiropractors participating in this survey appear to agree on the clinical management for different cases of LBP.
This study explores the extent to which consumers seek wellness care when choosing chiropractors whose practice methods are known to include periodic evaluative and interventional methods to maintain wellness and prevent illness.
Using an international convenience sample of Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT) practitioners, 1316 consecutive patients attending 27 different chiropractic clinics in the USA, Europe and Australia completed a one-page survey on intake to assess reason for seeking care. A forced choice response was obtained characterizing the patient’s reason for seeking chiropractic care.
More than 40% of chiropractic patient visits were initiated for the purposes of health enhancement and/or disease prevention.
Although prudence dictates great caution when generalizing from this study, if confirmed by subsequent research among other similar cohorts, the present results may lend support to continued arguments of consumer demand for a more comprehensive paradigm of chiropractic care, beyond routine musculoskeletal complaints, that conceptualizes the systemic, nonspecific effects of the chiropractic encounter in much broader terms.
chiropractic; wellness; care
Primary dysmenorrhea and related issues are discussed as they influence the gynecological and social health of females during adolescence, adulthood, and senior maturity. Health practitioners are exposed to multiple approaches towards the management of menstrual pain. Clinical and social viewpoints target the causation, development, diagnosis, manifestation and management of primary dysmenorrhea. This narrative review includes the topic of the doctor-patient relationship in efforts of cultivating effectively communicative health practitioners. Controversial topics related to primary dysmenorrhea and the quality of life for women are addressed.
A search for literature reviews, case studies, laboratory research, and clinical trials from 1985–2004 was performed using the MEDLINE database. Sources of additional information included textbooks, national organizational literature and contemporary articles.
Menstrual pain is a prevalent experience yet it is socially taboo for conversation; as such, it poses a hindrance to its management. The communication between the doctor and patient is a critical barrier point between establishing a diagnosis and determining an appropriate treatment plan. A multi-disciple treatment plan varies as much as patients themselves vary in personal experiences, needs, and preferences.
Medicinal prophylactics, physical therapeutics, non-acidic diets, herbal supplements, eastern therapies and the chiropractic manual adjustments of the spine are effective methods for the management of primary dysmenorrhea. The non-invasive management of primary dysmenorrhea includes the chiropractic adjustment with complimentary modalities, and other alternative health care practices. Medicinal prophylactics are invasive and pose a higher risk to long-term chemical exposure, side effects or irreversible conditions.
Dysmenorrhea; Chiropractic; Manipulation, Spinal; Complementary Therapies; Eastern Medicine; Women's Health; Physical Therapy