Objective: This study describes the psychologic profile of chiropractic patients and argues for broadening chiropractic's case management.
Method: Eight chiropractors were requested to recruit patients, taking care to include workers' compensation cases. Patients were requested to complete as many as 3 questionnaires. Patients completed the first questionnaire on admission and the second 3 weeks later or on discharge, whichever occurred first. Patients still receiving care at 3 months completed a third questionnaire. Validated questionnaires were used to assess psychologic status. Practitioners were asked to document the patient's level of disability.
Results: A total of 116 patients entered the study; 57% had acute symptoms on admission, and 53% of all recruited patients were injured at work. Analysis with the Dallas Pain Questionnaire suggested that only 2 acute patients with non-work care injurieswould respond well to medical intervention alone; all other patients also required behavioral intervention. Of the 105 patients who completed the Distress and Risk Assessment Method questionnaire, 36% were found to be normal, 34% were found to be at risk, and 30% were found to be distressed. Of the 108 patients in this study who completed the Bedford Foulds Personal Disturbance scale analysis, 31% were personally disturbed, and 40% were psychologically ill.
Conclusion: The extent of psychologic disease among chiropractic patients with acute and chronic work care and non-work care injuries suggests it may be prudent for chiropractors to consider expanding their clinical focus to include psychoemotional status.
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