Purpose: To retrospectively review patient files in two teaching clinics in the United States and to assess the documented attempts to deliver health promotion messages when a chart indicated a need for health promotion or a red-flag condition that could be helped with positive behavioral changes.
Methods: Approximately 100 patient files were randomly selected from each of two separate chiropractic teaching clinics, for patients seen after January 2007. Files were assessed for pertinent family history of diseases, personal medical history, and red-flag conditions of patients that would warrant intervention with health promotion.
Results: Health promotion advice on at least one occasion was noted in 108 (53.7%) patient charts. Only 7 of 98 overweight or obese patients and none of those with family history of obesity were advised on weight management. Among 23 hypertensive patients, only 5 were advised and 17 of the 97 patients with risk of cardiovascular disease were advised.
Conclusion: Chiropractic teaching clinics should assess what they are doing to help Americans reach their health goals. There is an opportunity to shape future practitioners so they include primary prevention as a part of what they do if the profession cares to move in that direction. Future research should look at mechanisms of delivery for health promotion, including better tracking of patients who need it and how staff doctors are trained to deliver oversight to interns in the area of primary prevention.
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