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Chiropractic Research Review

Chiropractic Care for the Underserved Population

Typical consumers of chiropractic care tend to come from the upper-middle class, yet these individuals tend to have less musculoskeletal complaints than people with lower-class or lower-middle-class incomes.

This study, conducted in Canada, investigated the utilization of chiropractic services in a low-income bracket by reviewing cases cared for in an urban project clinic.
In a one-year period, 988 patient visits were provided for no cost to 183 people; 9.3% of the patients had no health care coverage whatsoever. Chiropractors volunteered their services to provide musculoskeletal examinations; diagnosis; adjustments; soft-tissue therapy; nutritional advice; and other services.

Conditions reported in the clinic included headaches; back pain; repetitive strain injuries; and disc herniations. Most of the patients were men, and of those providing occupational data, most were laborers. Interestingly, most patients only came to the clinic for chiropractic care once, even though they did not have to pay for it.

Suleman Z. A retrospective demographic study at the Calgary Urban Project Society: Chiropractic service delivery beyond "upper-middle class." Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association 2001:45(4), pp. 241-247.

Chiropractic Research Review

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