Method: An exploratory study of five chiropractic practices, one in South Africa, two in the Republic of Ireland, and two in the U.S.A., was undertaken. Convenience sampling resulted in participation by 50 South African, 75 Irish and 30 American patients. Participants were asked to select from a list of health information topics, to report on their lifestyle choices with respect to smoking, alcohol, exercise and certain dietary habits and to note their “top of the mind” responses to the word triggers “health information” and “chiropractic/chiropractor.” Results were compared with a similar Australian study.
Results: While each individual has unique interests and expectations, a number of chiropractic patients favour general health information also being available in their chiropractic clinics. Many of the behavioural choices of chiropractic patients are consistent with health promotion, nonetheless there are those who would benefit from personalised health information. Patients more readily perceive chiropractors as spinal experts than as a health information source.
Conclusions: As the chiropractic profession strives to establish itself as an influential health partner offering patient-centred care, it is suggested that the character of chiropractic patient-centred care not be limited to spinal adjustments and exercise, but, based on the health information interests of chiropractic patients, be expanded to incorporate a more comprehensive definition of wellness.
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