Objective: The purposes of this study were to quantify the number of patients referred weekly from primary health care general practitioners (GPs) to chiropractors and to identify chiropractor characteristics associated with the number of referrals.
Methods: An online, cross-sectional survey was sent to the 600 active members of the Danish Chiropractic Association. Of those, 364 completed the survey and 286 met our inclusion criteria. We used bivariable analyses and negative binomial multivariable regression to evaluate the association between predetermined characteristics and the weekly number of patients referred by GPs.
Results: On average, chiropractors reported that they received 2.5 (standard deviation, 2.2) referrals from GPs per week, representing 31% of all new patients received by chiropractors. Clinics with more than 1 chiropractor and access to diagnostic ultrasound received more GP referrals. Chiropractors reporting expertise in geriatrics and a higher number of new patients per week reported more referrals. Chiropractors who reported referring more patients to GPs also reported receiving more referrals from them.
Conclusion: Variables related to access to chiropractic care, the type of care provided, and interprofessional communication were positively associated with the number of GP referrals that chiropractors self-reported. This is the first study to report on factors associated with GP referrals to Danish chiropractors.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, Physicians, Referral and Consultation, Primary Health Care, General Practitioners
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