Objective: Few studies have addressed the practice of chiropractic care of children in Europe. No systematic classification of conditions currently exists in chiropractic pediatrics. The objective of this study was to investigate characteristics of clinical chiropractic practice, including the age of pediatric patients, the number of reports of negative side effects (NSEs), the opinions of doctors of chiropractic on treatment options by patient age groups, the conditions seen and the number of treatment sessions delivered by conditions and by patient age.
Methods: An Internet cross-sectional survey was conducted in 20 European countries with 4109 doctors of chiropractic invited to reply. The 19 national associations belonging to the European Chiropractic Union and the Danish Chiropractic Association were asked to participate. Respondents were asked to self-report characteristics of their practices.
Results: Of the 956 (23.3%) participating chiropractors, 921 reported 19821 pediatric patients per month. Children represented 8.1% of chiropractors' total patient load over the last year. A total of 557 (534 mild, 23 moderate, and 0 severe) negative (adverse) side effects were reported for an estimated incidence of 0.23%. On the given treatment statements, chiropractors reported varying agreement and disagreement rates based on patient age. The 8309 answers on conditions were grouped into skeletal (57.0%), neurologic (23.7%), gastrointestinal (12.4%), infection (3.5%), genitourinary (1.5%), immune (1.4%), and miscellaneous conditions (0.5%). The number of treatment sessions delivered varied according to the condition and the patient age.
Conclusion: This study showed that European chiropractors are active in the care of pediatric patients. Reported conditions were mainly skeletal and neurologic complaints. In this survey, no severe NSEs were reported, and mild NSEs were infrequent.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; full text by subscription. Click on the above link and select a publisher from PubMed's LinkOut feature.