Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe patient characteristics and summarize their perceptions of chiropractic in Australia.
Methods:This study is part of a broader study aiming to extend the knowledge of the role of chiropractic within the current health care environment. A 33-item, paper-based, cross-sectional survey of a sample of patients from 100 systematically sampled chiropractic clinics from all the states and territories of Australia was conducted. The survey focused on patient demographics, socioeconomic status, perceived health status, and perceptions of chiropractic and chiropractic services.
Results: A total of 486 responses were received (24.3% response rate). Respondents were predominantly female patients (67.1%) of the 45- to 64-year age group. Approximately half of the respondents reported a pretax annual income exceeding $40000. Most patients sought chiropractic services because of musculoskeletal disorders (68.7%) and for general health (21.2%), and personal beliefs motivated most respondents (70.2%) to visit a chiropractor. Most respondents would seek the chiropractic services again (97.5%) and were satisfied with the service received.
Conclusions:The results of this study show that the typical chiropractic patient in Australia is a middle-aged woman with a moderate to high income. Although only a small proportion of the Australian population sees a chiropractor, this group seems to be satisfied with the service.
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