Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate practice characteristics of chiropractors who treat pediatric patients in Swiss chiropractic clinics.
Methods: An online survey questionnaire was created and tested for face and content validity. Participation by Swiss chiropractors was voluntary and anonymous and completed November to December 2015. The data were analyzed using SPSS. The analysis consisted of descriptive statistics.
Results: The sample consisted of 144 chiropractors, which represented a 53% response rate, and 98% of the responding practitioners treated patients younger than age 18. The proportion of pediatric patients treated was 8.7%. The most common pediatric age groups were schoolchildren and adolescents, with infants younger than 6 months being the third most common. Musculoskeletal complaints were the most common conditions treated in all age groups. In children younger than 2 years old, nonmusculoskeletal conditions were well represented. Prophylactic examination was common among children 6 years and younger. A total of 61% of responding chiropractors received direct referrals from medical doctors and 56% received direct referrals from pediatricians. The most common age groups for referrals from pediatricians were schoolchildren and adolescents. Only 15% of the chiropractors wrote reports about their pediatric patients to their pediatrician often or regularly; 90% of the responding chiropractors stated they rarely or never refer to a pediatric specialist, and 80% of the chiropractors have never or have rarely been invited to attend medical congresses or to teach the pediatric health care community about chiropractic care for children.
Conclusion: The majority of chiropractors in Switzerland treat pediatric patients, most commonly schoolchildren and adolescents for musculoskeletal disorders.
Author keywords: Chiropractic; Practice; Questionnaire; Pediatrics; Patients
Author affiliation: Swiss Academy for Chiropractic (Switzerland / Berne)
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