An anonymous questionnaire was sent via the head teachers of 8 primary schools in a typical UK county to the parents/guardians of children aged 5-11 who were attending the schools.
Of 987 questionnaires distributed, 259 were returned with 175 eligible for inclusion within the study (26% response rate). Healthcare choices for children were mostly made by mothers. Parents/guardians who already used complementary medicine (CAM), including chiropractic, were most likely to use chiropractic care for their children. Users of CAM were more likely to have a friend or family member in a healthcare profession than non-users of CAM. The family physician exerted considerable influence on the parent/guardian's decision to use chiropractic care for their children.
The results indicate that mothers are the main decision-makers when chiropractic care is chosen for a child and they are mostly influenced by the family physician and friends. This information could help inform campaigns aimed at dissemination of information about the practice and scope of paediatric chiropractic care.
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