METHODS: A purposive sample of the first 100 chiropractic consultation requests received through the Computerized Patient Record System at the VA of Western New York Health Care System was selected for data collection and analysis.
RESULTS: The VA chiropractic patients in this study were primarily older men with chronic low-back pain that had not responded to medical management and other treatment modalities. More than half of the patients had service-connected disabilities. Consultation requests came largely from primary care, and most requests were for patients for whom chiropractic was clinically indicated and requested preconsultation diagnostic studies had been performed.
CONCLUSIONS: The VA chiropractic patients in this study differed from traditional non-VA chiropractic patients with regard to age and sex. A review of the chiropractic consultation requests that were considered inappropriate resulted in a revision of the instructions for requesting providers within the Computerized Patient Record System. Additional health systems research is indicated to evaluate chiropractic implementation on a larger scale within the VA Health Care System.
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