OBJECTIVE: To compare 2 surveys describing the Danish chiropractic patient population.
DESIGN: Data concerning location of primary complaint and its duration for patients in Danish chiropractic offices between 1962 and 1999 were compared.
SETTING: Private chiropractic practice and nonprofit research institution.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Location of primary diagnosis/complaint, duration of complaint.
RESULTS: In 1962, data for 1118 patients were collected, with a participation rate of 93%. In 1999, data for 1897 patients were collected. Of all Danish chiropractic clinics, 88% participated in the study, and 94% of all eligible patients filled out a questionnaire. In both 1962 and 1999, the most frequent complaints were pain in the lower back or neck either alone or with radiation to the extremities (roughly 70% of patients). In 1962, almost 4 times as many patients complained of headache as in 1999 (11% vs 4%). Although there were significant differences, less that 10% of patients presented with a nonmusculoskeletal disorder in both 1962 and 1999 (7% vs 3%). In 1962, almost half of the patients had had their complaint for more than 1 year; in 1999, approximately 80% of patients had had their complaint for less than 1 year.
CONCLUSIONS: In both 1962 and 1999, Danish chiropractors primarily treated patients with pain syndromes related to the lower back and neck. Patients presenting with type O disorders comprised less than 10% of the total patient population in both surveys.
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