Objective: The purpose of this study was to pilot a new-validated infant treatment outcome measure and to describe basic characteristics and outcomes of infant chiropractic patients. The aim was to assess the performance of an outcome measure of infant care by chiropractic treatment through a before and after survey. This preliminary study may indicate usefulness of a newly validated measure of manual therapy care for common complaints of infancy.
Methods: A validated parent report of outcomes (PROMS) was used. Mothers completed a questionnaire at entrance to a university-affiliated chiropractic teaching clinic and again at follow up when treatment was completed / infant discharged. Collection of demographic data including age, gender, condition at presentation, previous clinicians consulted and medications were included.
Results: The study sample included 194 infant patients at intake and 102 at follow-up. Overall, 56% of patients (n=108) were aged between three days and 4 weeks and classified as neonate. In all, 96% of the infants were under 6 months of age. The most common presenting complaints were crying (n=65; 21%), feeding problems (n=62; 20%), discomfort in supine sleeping (n=58; 19%), check up after difficult birth (n=49; 16%), general sleeping problems (n=49; 16%) and head shape (n=25; 8%). A total 68% (n=120) had seen 1-4 clinicians, before presenting to the chiropractor and 60% (n=104) were taking from one to four medications. Prior to treatment the average score of the baby’s discomfort or pain was 4.3 (Pain scale 0-10). At the follow-up survey the average was 1.7, a 60% reduction and a statistically significant difference. The relative risk ratio for the parent report of improvement after attending treatment was 2.3 (95% confidence interval = 1.73-2.87). The mothers anxiety, depression and quality of life before and after treatment improved by a factor of 2.1 (95% confidence interval = 1.58-2.62). The arrow confidence intervals suggest that these findings might be applied to the general population. On follow-up, 97% of mothers reported a positive improvement of the baby’s condition and or behaviour since the beginning of care and satisfaction with the care provided. No adverse events were reported.
Conclusion: The pilot study of this validated infant survey suggests it can be administered to mothers and that they are compliant in completion. Mothers report good success for chiropractic treatment for the infant’s problems along with satisfaction with the treatment.
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