Topics In Clinical Chiropractic 1996 (Jun): 3 (2): 46–55
Ian D. Coulter, Eric Hurwitz, Harriet U. Aronow, Donald Cassata, John Beck
Coulter et al performed an analysis of an insurance database, comparing persons receiving chiropractic care with nonchiropractic patients. The study consisted of senior citizens >75 years of age. Recipients of chiropractic care reported better overall health, spent fewer days in hospitals and nursing homes, used fewer prescription drugs, and were more active than the nonchiropractic patients.
As part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment program, the RAND Corporation studied a subpopulation of patients who were under chiropractic care compared to those who were not and found that the individuals under continuing chiropractic care were:
- Free from the use of a nursing home [95.7% vs 80.8%];
- Free from hospitalizations for the past 23 years [73.9% vs 52.4%];
- More likely to report a better health status;
- More likely to exercise vigorously;
- More likely to be mobile in the community [69.6% vs 46.8%].
Although it is impossible to clearly establish causality, it is clear that continuing chiropractic care is among the attributes of the cohort of patients experiencing substantially fewer costly healthcare interventions.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess characteristics of patients who seek chiropractic care. In addition, a qualitative literature review was done to identify what has been published regarding chiropractic care and geriatrics.
Methodology: A detailed examination of a database collected during a randomized clinical trial testing the effectiveness of a comprehensive geriatric assessment program was performed.
Results: Within a total sample size of 414, a subpopulation of 23 (5.65%) reported receiving chiropractic care. This figure is similar to published reports of distribution of chiropractic patients in the general population. Chiropractic users were less likely to have been hospitalized, less likely to have used a nursing home, more likely to report a better health status, more likely to exercise vigorously, and more likely to be mobile in the community. In addition, they were less likely to use prescription drugs.
Conclusion: Results suggest a need to develop chiropractic models that address the special preventive and rehabilitative needs of the older patient.
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