OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of chiropractic utilization and examine sociodemographic characteristics associated with utilization in a representative sample of US children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 years.
METHODS: Data are from 9734 respondents to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Age, sex, race/ethnicity, geography, family income, parental educational attainment, and other health care providers served as exposure variables. Chiropractic utilization in the past 12 months (yes/no) was the targeted outcome. Weighted crude and adjusted logistic regression models, controlling for relevant covariates, were performed.
RESULTS: The 12-month prevalence of chiropractic utilization in US children was 3.0% (95% confidence interval: 2.6%-3.6%). The adjusted odds (95% confidence interval) of chiropractic utilization were higher among 11- to 17-year-olds (2.02 [1.41-2.90]) (vs 4- to10-year-olds), Midwest residents (2.45 [1.36-4.44]) (vs Northeast), families with incomes ≥$100000 (3.25 [1.87-5.66]) (vs <$35000), and those that visited other Complementary and Integrative Health (also known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine) practitioners (11.26 [7.19-17.64]). Blacks and Asians had lower adjusted odds of chiropractic utilization compared with whites (0.17 [0.06-0.47] and 0.17 [0.07-0.43], respectively). Sex, parental education, and having an orthodox medical personal physician were not associated with utilization.
CONCLUSION: Although overall prevalence was low, sociodemographic characteristics of child and adolescent users of chiropractic care were identified. Age, race/ethnicity, region of residence, family income, and utilization of other Complementary and Integrative Health services were associated with chiropractic utilization, after adjusting for sociodemographic covariates.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, Child, Adolescent, Pediatrics, Complementary Therapies, Integrative Medicine
Author affiliations: TP, KPG: Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Austin, Texas; BC: Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Austin, Texas; KPG: Department of Women's Health, Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
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