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Chiropractic Research Review

What Health Education Will DCs Provide?

Self-care has become a primary focus of the health care system, necessitating that chiropractors offer various types of patient education. Because of their "gatekeeper" status and concentration on wellness, chiropractors are in a position to provide health counseling and information on a variety of issues.

To evaluate the willingness to provide health education, and the type of current health education offered by chiropractors in Australia, 400 members of the Chiropractic Association of Australia were randomly selected for a postal survey; 138 responded.

To find out which information the patients were interested in learning about from their chiropractor, 316 patients at one of 20 practices were also polled.
Chiropractors were more likely to provide information brochures than tailored health-promotion contracts (89% vs.17%, respectively). Also, although 78% of chiropractors were willing to provide counseling on injury prevention, 45% had themselves been injured while practicing chiropractic. The following percentages represent some information topics currently offered in chiropractic clinics:

* exercise (99%);
* diet (98%);
* nutritional supplements (35%);
* over-the-counter medication/drug use (75%);
* alcohol abuse (53%); and
* smoking cessation (17%).

Patients wanted more information from their chiropractors, compared to what was offered, on such topics as osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and stress reduction. The author writes, "It may be timely for the chiropractic profession to identify the extent to which its role in primary contact involves providing patients with health information."

Jamison J. Health information and promotion in chiropractic clinics. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2002:25(4), pp. 240-245. www.mosby.com/jmpt

Chiropractic Research Review

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