Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess self-reported infection prevention processes and their effect on businesses of chiropractic doctors (DCs) and licensed massage therapists (LMTs) in Mississippi during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: We developed a survey that was electronically delivered to all licensed DCs and LMTs in Mississippi between August and September 2020. Assessments were made using Qualtrics software, with data management and subsequent analysis including Pearson's χ2 test.
Results: Responses were based on 32 of 323 DCs and 69 of 934 LMTs that were still seeing patients through the pandemic (n = 101, response rate 8%). The DC and LMT practitioners (94%) used treatment table and/or surface sanitizing (91.8%) and hand washing and/or sanitizing (89.8%) between all patients. Female practitioners reported practicing handwashing for at least 20 seconds, whereas male practitioners reported practicing handwashing for at least 15 seconds (P < .001). DCs were more likely to report using gloves for personal protective equipment, and LMTs were more likely to report using face masks (P < .001). Other COVID-19 procedures included limiting practice to acute care (82.5%), checking all patient temperatures (62.9%), sign-in and wait in the car (53.2% LMT vs 6.5% DC, P < .001), and prohibiting all nonpatient visitors (87.7% LMTs vs 9.4% DCs, P < .001). DCs (96.9%) and LMTs (89.9%) reported making referrals for COVID-19 testing or treatment when indicated. LMTs (82.3%) reported seeing fewer patients (P = .03), and older practitioners reported the most economic impact (P = .003) by the pandemic. Patient concerns and LMTs needing more time to perform infection control (P = .04) were reasons cited by practitioners for the reduced number of visits seen.
Conclusion: Most respondents had moderate to high compliance with guidelines on recommended infection prevention processes during fall 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic. This assessment of compliance may be used to help guide future health education and promotion research of disease prevention and mitigation as well as physical and economic burdens faced by DCs and LMTs in Mississippi during a pandemic.
Author Keywords: Infection Control; Coronavirus Infections; Chiropractic; Massage Therapy
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