Objective: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has strained all levels of healthcare and it is not known how chiropractic practitioners have responded to this crisis. The purpose of this report is to describe responses by a sample of chiropractors during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: We used a qualitative-constructivist design to understand chiropractic practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, as described by the participants. A sample of chiropractic practitioners (doctors of chiropractic, chiropractors) from various international locations were invited to participate. Each described the public health response to COVID-19 in their location and the actions that they took in their chiropractic practices from April 20 through May 4, 2020. A summary report was created from their responses and common themes were identified.
Results: Eighteen chiropractic practitioners representing 17 locations and 11 countries participated. A variety of practice environments were represented in this sample, including, solo practice, mobile practice, private hospital, US Veterans Administration health care, worksite health center, and group practice. They reported that they recognized and abided by changing governmental regulations. They observed their patients experience increased stress and mental health concerns resulting from the pandemic. They adopted innovative strategies, such as telehealth, to do outreach, communicate with, and provide care for patients. They abided by national and World Health Organization recommendations and they adopted creative strategies to maintain connectivity with patients through a people-centered, integrated, and collaborative approach.
Conclusion: Although the chiropractors in this sample practiced in different cities and countries, their compliance with local regulations, concern for staff and patient safety, and people-centered responses were consistent. This sample covers all 7 World Federation of Chiropractic regions (ie, African, Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, European, Latin American, North American, and Pacific) and provides insights into measures taken by chiropractors during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. This information may assist the chiropractic profession as it prepares for different scenarios as new evidence about this disease evolves.
Author keywords: Health Occupations; Chiropractic; COVID-19 [Supplementary Concept]; Pandemics
Author affiliations: CDJ: National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL; BNG: National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL; Stanford Health Care, San Diego, CA, US; KKKH: Private practice, Little Rock, AR, USA; EGH: Private practice, Portland, OR, USA; JGN: VA St. Louis Health Care System, St Louis, Missouri, USA; WKF: Private practice, Dallas, TX, USA; JWB: Private practice, Albany, NY, USA; DKG: Unity Health Toronto, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Canada; KJS: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Canada; Private practice, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; CL: Private practice, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; STC: Private practice, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; JRF: Royal College of Chiropractors, University of Southampton, Hampshire, UK; MBB: Private practice, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; KLDS: Private practice, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa; GT: Private practice, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; TBY: Private practice, Singapore; VSG: Private practice, Athens, Attica, Greece; Gq: Private practice, Bucaramanga, Colombia; MHA: Private practice, Izmir, Turkey.
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