Objectives: This study looks to utilize survey methods to evaluate the factors which may influence the attitudes and referral habits to chiropractors among physician and physician assistants (PAs) within an integrated health care environment where access to chiropractic services is referral-dependent. This study compares the self-reported data on referral habits to actual referral data.
Methods: This study was approved by the Washington DC VAMC institutional review board. Subjects were members ofthe medical staff of the Martinsburg VA Medical Center. They completed a written informed consent. Data was collected using a tool developed for this study. Data was then placed in numeric categories and analyzed using SPSS 13.0. Statistical analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, bivariate correlation, and factorial analysis of variance.
Results: The analyses were carried out on 26 competed surveys. The mean average knowledge of chiropractic (self-rated) and opinion of chiropractic was 4.8 on a0-10 scale with a range from 1-9. 42% of subjects referred to chiropractors. The average satisfaction of the referring provider with the results of referral was 8 (0-10 scale). The presence of chiropractor on staff had a positive effect on both opinion and referral habits.
Conclusions: The tool developed does effectively gather the data sought. Having a chiropractor on staff does positively impact the opinions medical providers have concerning chiropractic, as well as the referral habits to chiropractors. Demographically PAs have an overall higher opinion of chiropractic than physicians. The more medical providers know about chiropractic, the higher their opinion. The majority of providers who refer more do so because they feel it is the best treatment in that case. Overall satisfaction with referrals to the chiropractic service is very high (8/10).
Author affiliations: SMN: Staff Chiropractor, Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV; Adjunct Faculty, Palmer College of Chiropractic; RJJ: Registered Nurse, Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV
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