Purpose: To establish the number of annual patient visits at which at least one cervical manipulation treatment had been performed by practising members of the British (BCA) and Scottish (SCA) chiropractic associations.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was sent to 399 registered chiropractors chosen from the membership databases of the BCA and SCA. The chiropractors were asked to enter the total number of patient visits in which at least one cervical manipulation had been administered during a predetermined study week.
Results: A total of 291 questionnaires were returned (response rate 72.9%). Based on 281 usable data files, one BCA or SCA chiropractor performs on average a minimum of 40 cervical spine manipulations each week. Assuming that the average BCA/SCA chiropractor works for 49 weeks per year, this equates to 1975 treatment visits per year at which at least one cervical spine manipulation is administered. At the time the sample was taken for this study, a combined total of 1139 chiropractors were registered on the BCA and SCA databases. By extrapolation, the combined membership of the BCA and SCA, would therefore perform a minimum of 2,250,664 cervical spine manipulations or adjustments in 1 year.
Conclusions: This study, for the first time, established that, for 2003, the average BCA and SCA chiropractor administered a weekly minimum of 40 cervical spine manipulations and that, on an annual basis, a conservative estimate of 2.25 million cervical spine manipulations are carried out.
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