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Chiropractic Research Review

The Role of Chiropractic in Integrated Care Facilities

Chiropractic has traditionally been a natural, drug-free therapy. Media and public focus on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in recent years has led to a surge in interest in chiropractic for this reason.

No studies exist that analyze chiropractics role in emerging integrated CAM clinics.

This study evaluated 25 benchmarked integrated-care facilities to determine the degree to which chiropractic was included. Telephone or written surveys were completed by the clinics, which were identified by The Integrator, a CAM publication. The clinics offered therapies including manual therapy; naturopathy; homeopathy; acupuncture; massage; and herbology. The following data emerged regarding chiropractic:

* Twelve of the 25 clinics included chiropractors.

* Of the facilities not offering DCs, five offered some form of manipulation services (e.g. osteopathy, naturopathy, physical therapy); all five were owned by medical doctors.

* Three clinics indicated plans for on-site manipulative services in the near future, or a close referral relationship with some form of manipulative services clinic.

* Manual therapy was offered, referred, or soon-to-be offered in 80% of the facilities.

"Barriers to inclusion of DCs appear to be related to conventional medical and hospital preferences to not practice with chiropractors," the author concludes. He also notes that the financial practicality of integrated facilities has not been determined, and warns that a recent trend for insurers to lump all CAM therapies under one "global benefit" cap may lead to problems when chiropractors seek reimbursement for their services.

Note: This paper may be useful for chiropractors involved in multispecialty clinics to understand some of the business and politics associated with these endeavors.

Hanks JW. Chiropractic inclusion in complementary and alternative medicine clinics: Analysis of current trends. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, June 2001:8(2), pp. 20-25.
Reprints: (800) 638-8437

Chiropractic Research Review

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