OBJECTIVE: To investigate the type and extent of interprofessional contacts between chiropractors and members of the conventional Swedish health-care system and to study the possible barriers to effective cooperation between these groups.
DESIGN: Surveys through self-administered questionnaires and a structured telephone interview.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty consecutive patients of 31 chiropractors (n = 616) participated in the questionnaire survey, and 15 randomly selected chiropractors participated in the telephone interview.
SETTING: Chiropractic practices in Stockholm, Sweden.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Information was sought on the type and number of interprofessional contacts and on barriers to free and effective communication.
RESULTS: Eighteen percent of patients were recommended to chiropractic care by some other health-care practitioner. Only 1% of the participating patients were referred for chiropractic care with a written request. Almost all chiropractors (87%) could provide a list of the last three health-care professionals with whom they had contact. The median number of interprofessional contacts per month was estimated by the chiropractors to be 10. Legal recognition of chiropractors and the inclusion of these in the County Council reimbursement program were thought to have improved the image of chiropractic. Considerable barriers to cooperation were stated to exist still.
CONCLUSION: Successful integration of chiropractors into the Swedish health-care system requires an overall policy plan and practical guidelines of cooperation.
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