Objective: To identify the public’s perception about what chiropractic is and their views about chiropractors’ role in health care.
Design: A survey was conducted to gather the public’s perception using a 29-item questionnaire. The questions related to any history of chiropractic use, their opinion on chiropractic, risks or concerns regarding care, chiropractic education, etc.
Results: Of the 182 respondents, the majority (76%) believed that chiropractors work with bones, muscles and joints, with only 10% believing that chiropractors work on the nervous system. Only 18% believed that prevention was a focus of chiropractic care. Of the 155 responses regarding satisfaction with chiropractic care, 81% were happy with their treatment, 6% were unhappy and 12% were unsure. For the 6% that were unhappy, concerns related to costs and the number of visits required. Most respondents believed that chiropractors treat people adolescent age and above. Thirty-four percent (34%) and 56% believed that chiropractors are as well trained as GPs and physiotherapists, respectively. Sixty-four percent (64%) of participants perceived that chiropractic is not dangerous, 57% were interested to know more, and 19% responded that they needed convincing to see a chiropractor.
Conclusion: Participants in general were interested in chiropractic and held no real concerns regarding risks or cost involved, however there appears to be a lack of information available to the public for them to be better informed about chiropractic. This information could help the profession’s efforts in making chiropractic a better-understood and more-accepted modality through effective education and communication.
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