Military Medicine 2006 (Jun); 171 (6): 572–576
Boudreau LA, Busse JW, McBride G
This article reviews results of surveys of 102 military personnel referred for chiropractic services in a Canadian Armed Forces Pilot Project. Traditionally, Canadian forces have had to self-pay for chiropractic services outside of the military system. The military personnel were all referred by the medical staff for chiropractic services. 52% of the patients complained of low back pain and their average initial onset was over 6 years. 94% of the patients responded that they were satisfied with the chiropractic care received while 80% of the referring physicians expressed satisfaction.
This article reports on satisfaction associated with the introduction of chiropractic services within a military hospital, through a Canadian Armed Forces Pilot Project. We distributed a 27-item survey that inquired about demographic information and satisfaction with chiropractic services to 102 military personnel presenting for on-site chiropractic services at the Archie McCallum Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We provided a second 3-item survey, designed to explore referral patterns and satisfaction with chiropractic services, to all referring military physicians. A multivariable linear regression model was constructed to explore which factors were associated with patients' satisfaction with chiropractic services. The response rate to the patient and physician satisfaction surveys was 67.6% (69 of 102) and 83.3% (10 of 12), respectively. Chronic low back pain accounted for most presentations to the hospital chiropractic clinic.
The majority of military personnel (94.2%) and referring physicians (80.0%) expressed satisfaction with chiropractic services. Our adjusted analysis found that older age (beta = -0.37; 95% confidence interval = -0.73 to -0.02) and a presenting complaint of knee pain (beta = -15.56; 95% confidence interval = -29.61 to -1.51) was associated with decreased satisfaction with chiropractic care. Although our finding of high satisfaction with chiropractic services is encouraging, formal studies on functional outcomes and cost effectiveness of chiropractic care are required to better inform the role of chiropractic services in the Canadian Armed Forces.