OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to compare functional limitations and comorbidity prevalence between older adult users and nonusers of chiropractic and osteopathic (DC/DO) manipulation to inform provider training.
METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey data. Adults age 65 or older who responded to the survey were included. Descriptive statistics are reported for adults who used DC/DO manipulation (vs nonusers) regarding function, comorbidities, musculoskeletal complaints, and medical services. Weighted percentages were derived using SAS and compared with χ2 tests.
RESULTS: The DC/DO users were more often female, overweight or obese, and of white race than nonusers. More DC/DO users reported arthritis (55.3% vs 47.0%, <0.01) or asthma (15.0% vs 10.0%, P < .01) than nonusers; hypertension (61.9% vs 55.5%, P = .02) and diabetes (20.3% vs 15.7%, P = .02) were more prevalent in nonusers; and other comorbidities were comparable. The DC/DO users reported more joint pain/stiffness (55.7% vs 44.8%), chronic pain (19.8% vs 14.2%), low back pain (27.8% vs 18.4%), low back with leg pain (18.8% vs 10.6%), and neck pain (24.2% vs 13.1%) than nonusers (all P < .01). Functional limitations affected two-thirds overall, but DC/DO users reported more difficulties stooping and bending; other limitations were comparable. One in 9 reported activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living limitations; nonusers were more affected. Surgery was more common among DC/DO users (26.1% vs 19.3%, <0.01); emergency room visits were comparable.
CONCLUSION: Differences existed between older adult manipulation users and nonusers, especially surgical utilization, musculoskeletal complaints, and comorbidities; functional differences were modest. Our findings highlight areas for provider training and awareness regarding comorbidity burden and management needs in older patients who may simultaneously use manipulation and medical care for musculoskeletal complaints.
Author keywords: Aged, Manipulation, Chiropractic, Manipulation, Osteopathic
Author affiliations: MLF: Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, Minnesota. MM: Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, Minnesota
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