A self-reported asthma-related impairment study was conducted on 81 children under chiropractic care. The intent of this study was to quantify self-reported changes in impairment experienced by the pediatric asthmatic subjects, before and after a two month period under chiropractic care. Practitioners, representing a general range of six different approaches to vertebral subluxation correction, administered a specifically designed asthma impairment questionnaire at the appropriate intervals. Subjects were categorized into two groups; 1-10 years and 11-17 years. Parents/guardians completed questionnaires for the younger group, while the older subjects self-reported their perceptions of impairment. Significantly lower impairment rating scores (improvement) were reported for 90.1% of subjects 60 days after chiropractic care when compared to the pre-chiropractic scores (p < 0.05) with an effect size of 0.96. As well, there were no significant differences across the age groups based on parent/guardian versus self rated scores. Girls reported higher (less improvement) before and after care compared to boys, although significant decreases in impairment ratings were reported for each gender. This suggested a greater clinical effect for boys which was supported by effect sizes ranging from 1.2 for boys compared to 0.75 for girls. Additionally, 25 of 81 subjects (30.9%) chose to voluntarily decrease their dosage of medication by an average of 66.5% while under chiropractic care. Moreover, information collected from patients revealed that among 24 patients reporting asthma "attacks" in the 30 day period prior to the study, the number of "attacks" decreased significantly by an average of 44.9% (p <.05). Based on the data obtained in this study, it was concluded that chiropractic care, for correction of vertebral subluxation, is a safe nonpharmacologic health care approach which may also be associated with significant decreases in asthma related impairment as well as a decreased incidence of asthmatic "attacks." The findings suggest that chiropractic care should be further investigated relative to providing the most efficacious care management regimen for pediatric asthmatics.
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