Program in Internal Medicine,
University of Arizona,
Tucson 85719, USA.
As the public acceptance of chiropractic continues to grow in the United States, [1-3] the private practice chiropractor may find opportunities for formal inclusion in the fast growing integration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into health care delivery. The ability of chiropractors to respond confidently to integration into the overall health care system may be the next step in gaining access to more patients and improving the health care quality.
This necessity for chiropractors to become part of the evolving health care system and still maintain a strong chiropractic identity will be essential, since chiropractic’s value lies in cultivating and delivering the very elements that have made it so high in patient satisfaction: emphasis on biomechanics, manual therapy of the spine, good patient rapport, and strong patient-physician bond. [4, 5] However, there are several barriers to integration: consumer, medical, and chiropractic itself.
M. Carrington Reid, PhD, MD Kimberly T. Crone, PhD John Otis, PhD Robert D. Kerns, PhD
Clinical Epidemiology Unit,
VA Connecticut Healthcare System,
West Haven, Connecticut 06516, USA.
The most disturbing comment in this article was:
Furthermore, the vast majority of respondents reported that the pain causing them the most discomfort had been present for years: Over 90% of all respondents reported a pain duration of greater than 6 months, suggesting that chronic (as opposed to acute) pain conditions are more concerning to veterans receiving primary care.
OBJECTIVES: To characterize the nature of pain complaints among younger and older veterans receiving primary care, and to determine whether characteristics of pain vary as a function of age.
METHODS: Primary care patients at a Veterans Affairs medical center were screened for pain prior to a routine office visit, and those who endorsed a concern about pain were given a self-administered questionnaire that inquired about specific characteristics of their pain including site, duration, frequency, and average intensity of the pain.
RESULTS: Over a 7–month period, 1,290 patients were screened; 641 (50%) reported a concern about pain, and of these, 516 (82%) completed the pain survey. Among younger (age <65 years, N = 191) and older (age > or =65 years, N = 325) respondents, the mean number of sites causing pain was similar (3.6 vs 3.3). Back pain was the most frequently reported site of pain causing the most discomfort among younger (vs older) respondents (31.9% vs 17.8%), whereas older (vs younger) respondents most often endorsed leg pain (32.3% vs 19.9%). The mean duration of pain was not significantly different between older and younger (10.7 vs 10.1 years) respondents; but older (vs younger) respondents were more likely to report constant pain (63.7% vs 46.9%). Using a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale, pain intensity scores were higher among younger (vs older) respondents (5.3 vs 4.3). Rates of prescription pain medication use were not significantly different (52.4% vs 48.0%). Compensation for pain-related disability was more common among younger (vs older) respondents (40.4% vs 19.4%).
Harrison Ndetan, MSc, MPH, DrPH, Marion Willard Evans, Jr., DC, PhD, MCHES, Cheryl Hawk, DC, PhD, and Clark Walker, BS, MPH
Cheryl Hawk, DC, PhD
Logan College of Chiropractic
Chesterfield, MO 63017
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to describe use of chiropractic and/or osteopathic manipulation by children in the United States along with the specific health conditions for which they sought care.
METHODS: The study was a secondary data analysis of the National Health Interview Survey 2007, Child Alternative Medicine file as well as the Child Core Sample. National population estimates were generated for reported use of chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (C/OM) by children for specific health conditions. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were generated from binary logistic regression models that assessed the likelihood that children of specific characteristics would use this therapy.
RESULTS: National estimates indicated that 2.3 million children (2.3%) in the United States had used C/OM in 2007. C/OM was the most common complementary and alternative medicine procedure. Children aged 12–18 years were more likely to have seen these providers than were younger age groups (OR=3.4 [95% CI, 2.1–5.5]). Homeopathy (1.2%), massage (1.0), and naturopathy (0.3%) were the next most common procedures. The most common complaints were back and neck pain. Other conditions for which children were seen included other musculoskeletal conditions, sinusitis, allergies, and nonmigraine headaches. Racial categories did not differ significantly regarding use of manipulation, but those children with both mother and father in the household were more likely to have used this form of care (OR=1.7 [95% CI, 1.1–2.6]).
Lise Vilstrup Holm, Dorte Ejg Jarbøl, Henrik Wulff Christensen, Jens Søndergaard, and Lise Hestbæk
Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics,
University of Southern Denmark,
Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.
BACKGROUND: Infantile colic is a common condition during early childhood affecting around one of six newborns. The condition is characterized by inconsolable crying and fussing in otherwise healthy and thriving infants. The most used definition is excessive crying for at least three hours a day for at least three days for at least three weeks. The cause of colic is still unknown although many hypotheses and thereby many different treatment modalities have been investigated. Chiropractic care is used increasingly in treatment of infants, including for infantile colic, although the evidence worldwide is sparse. A randomized, controlled trial was designed to evaluate the effect of chiropractic treatment on infantile colic. This paper describes the protocol as well as results from a pilot study examining the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention.
METHOD: The study is designed as a single-blind randomized, controlled trial. The invited families are residents on the Island of Funen and information about the project is distributed from the maternity wards and health visitors. Children at the age of 2–14 weeks with unexplained excessive crying are screened for eligibility and recruited by the primary investigator through home visits. Eligible children are then randomized to chiropractic treatment or control. All children attend in the chiropractor clinic two times a week for two weeks. The parents are unaware of their child’s allocation during the project period. The primary outcome measure is change in daily hours of crying based on the parental diaries.The study intends to include 200 children, and the intervention has, during a pilot study, been found acceptable and feasible among families with newborns.
DISCUSSION: In a single-blind randomized controlled design we will evaluate the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment on infantile colic. The study will contribute to determine the effect of chiropractic treatment on infantile colic in an area where limited evidence exists. Furthermore, the study aims to explore if subgroups of children with suspected musculoskeletal problems will benefit more from the intervention than others. If they obtain better results, this could imply the need for stratified care.
Charles Elder, MD MPH, Lynn DeBar, PhD MPH, Cheryl Ritenbaugh, PhD MPH, John Dickerson, PhD, William M. Vollmer, PhD, Richard A. Deyo, MD MPH, Eric S. Johnson, PhD, and Mitchell Haas, DC MA
Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research,
Portland, OR, USA.
BACKGROUND: Chiropractic care is a popular alternative for back and neck pain, with efficacy comparable to usual care in randomized trials. However, the effectiveness of chiropractic care as delivered through conventional care settings remains largely unexplored.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of usual care with or without chiropractic care for patients with chronic recurrent musculoskeletal back and neck pain.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study using propensity score-matched controls.
PARTICIPANTS: Using retrospective electronic health record data, we developed a propensity score model predicting likelihood of chiropractic referral. Eligible patients with back or neck pain were then contacted upon referral for chiropractic care and enrolled in a prospective study. For each referred patient, two propensity score-matched non-referred patients were contacted and enrolled. We followed the participants prospectively for 6 months.
MAIN MEASURES: Main outcomes included pain severity, interference, and symptom bothersomeness. Secondary outcomes included expenditures for pain-related health care.
KEY RESULTS: Both groups’ (N = 70 referred, 139 non-referred) pain scores improved significantly over the first 3 months, with less change between months 3 and 6. No significant between-group difference was observed. (severity – 0.10 (95% CI – 0.30, 0.10), interference – 0.07 (– 0.31, 0.16), bothersomeness – 0.1 (– 0.39, 0.19)). After controlling for variances in baseline costs, total costs during the 6–month post-enrollment follow-up were significantly higher on average in the non-referred versus referred group ($1,996 [SD = 3874] vs $1,086 [SD = 1212], p = .034). Adjusting for differences in age, gender, and Charlson comorbidity index attenuated this finding, which was no longer statistically significant (p = .072).