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Chiropractic Research Review

Definition and Utilization of Maintenance Care in Chiropractic

Health promotion and prevention are receiving increased attention in the U.S. health care system. As part of this increased awareness, the chiropractic profession is becoming more accepted as a capable entity for providing not only primary care services, but also effective preventive and health promotion services.

In a study designed to investigate practice patterns and health promotion/prevention attitudes, a 40-question survey was mailed to 1,500 chiropractors selected at random from active practices in the United States.

Of the 1,500 surveys mailed, 658 (44%) were returned with completed surveys, with the results summarized below:

* Purpose of maintenance care: U.S. chiropractors agreed or strongly agreed that the purpose of MC was to optimize health (90%), prevent conditions from developing (88%), provide palliative care (86%) and minimize recurrence or exacerbations (95%).

* Therapeutic role of maintenance care: There was strong agreement that MC placed virtually equal weight on exercise (96%) and adjustments/manipulation (97%), and that other interventions such as dietary recommendations (93%) and recommendations about lifestyle changes (84%) were also important.

* Utilization of maintenance care: While nearly four in five chiropractic patients (79%) have MC recommended to them, approximately 34% actually receive MC. The average recommended visits was 14.4 per year, with total estimated revenue representing nearly 23% of practice income.

Conclusions: The data suggest that within the chiropractic profession, the amount of services and income generated by preventive and health-promoting services is second only to services/income generated by low back pain. Survey responses in this study also suggest that "levels of primary care, health promotion and prevention activities of chiropractors surpasses that of other physicians."

Rupert RL. A survey of practice patterns and the health promotion and prevention attitudes of U.S. chiropractors. Maintenance care: Part I. Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, Jan. 2000:23(1), pp1-9.
Reprints: Tel: (800) 325-4177 (ext. 4350); Fax: (314) 432-1380

(Editor's note: Part II of this study is summarized in the Senior Health section of this issue)

Chiropractic Research Review

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