Patient Satisfaction With Chiropractic Physicians
In An Independent Physicians' Association

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 (Nov);   24 (9):   556559 ~ FULL TEXT

Hugh A. Gemmell, DC, EdD, Brad M. Hayes, DC

Oklahoma State Chiropractic Independent Physicians' Association,
Tulsa, Okla.

In this study, 150 chiropractic patients were surveyed. Chiropractic care received excellent remarks by percentage, in the following categories: Time to Get an Appointment 84.9 percent; Convenience of Office - 57.7 percent; Access to Office by Phone - 77.3 percent; Length of Wait - 75.7 percent; Time Spent with Provider - 74.3 percent; Explanation of Treatment - 72.8 percent; Skill of Provider - 83.3 percent; Personal Manner of the Chiropractor - 92.4 percent. The overall visit category was given the excellent response by 83.3 percent of those surveyed.

BACKGROUND:   Satisfaction with care is one of the variables that can be used in determining the results of medical care. Patient satisfaction surveys allow managed care plans to determine how well their providers meet certain standards.

OBJECTIVE:   To determine the level of satisfaction with chiropractic care in a random sample of patients seen by physician members of a chiropractic independent physicians' association.

DESIGN:   A visit-specific questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 150 patients from health insurance claims filed in the first two months of 2000.

RESULTS:   The rate of return was 44%. Various aspects of chiropractic care were given a rating of "excellent" by the following percentage of respondents: Length of time to get an appointment (84.9%); convenience of the office (57.7%); access to the office by telephone (77.3%); length of wait at the office (75.7%); time spent with the provider (74.3%); explanation of what was done during the visit (72.8%); technical skills of the chiropractor (83.3%); and the personal manner of the chiropractor (92.4%). The visit overall was rated as excellent by 83.3% of responders, and 95.5% stated they would definitely recommend the provider to others.

CONCLUSION:   The study demonstrated a high satisfaction rate among managed-care patients.

From the FULL TEXT Article:


The purpose of this study was to determine how a limited sample of chiropractic patients felt about the care they received. The findings are consistent with previous studies that show a high level of satisfaction among chiropractic patients. Of particular note is the finding of very good to excellent overall satisfaction in 100% of the respondents. The only questions receiving fair ratings were those concerning the convenience of the office (4.5%) and the explanation of what was done (3%). All other ratings were good or better. Oth [20] suggests that high patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is the result of personally effective explanations the chiropractor gives patients. Our study found that 97% of patients rated the explanation of what was done on the visit as good or better. This seems to support Oth's conclusion, although we cannot substantiate this.

Office convenience may be related to the proximity of the chiropractor's office to the patient's home or work, the ease of getting in or out of an office location with respect to traffic flow, or the ease of getting to the office based on stairs or distance from parking. This could be substantiated in further studies.

A major limitation of this study was the poor rate of return. After 3 mailings, the return rate was only 44%. A strength of this study was the randomization of the patients selected. We used a 2-month period with a data pool of all managed-care patients seen by 100 chiropractors statewide. The database was tapped by the electronic billing company and sorted for true randomization by computer. Selection of 150 patients was made based on a randomization program.

This study demonstrates a very high satisfaction rate among the managed-care patients of this independent physicians' association. Further studies attempting to demonstrate the reason for this high satisfaction should be undertaken.


The level of satisfaction of patients with members of the chiropractic physicians of the Oklahoma State Chiropractic Independent Physicians' Association was very high. No areas of concern were noted with the care delivered by these chiropractors.



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