Objective: To review basic principles and practices of chiropractic rehabilitation for spine pain patients and to present data on outcomes of an active care program.
Design: Pre-post statistical comparisons of patient outcomes in a 6-week program of active care.
Setting: Rehabilitation clinic.
Participants: A convenience sample of seventy-three work-injured spine-pain patients from January 1993 to September 1994 who completed a 6-week intervention program. Forty eight (48) males with an average age of 41 years, and 25 females with an average age of 39 years were included.
Outcome measures: VAS for pain severity; Oswestry and Neck Disability Indices; self-ratings for improvement; an outcomes satisfaction index.
Results: The average duration of complaint was 48 days. Mean pre-post changes in pain scores (6.7 to 3.4) and disability scores (27.3 to 17.1) were highly significant (p < .0001). Eight-one percent (81%) of subjects were discharged as fit to return to at least modified work. The average level of self-rated improvement was 68%. The average level of satisfaction with outcome was 39/50. The highest correlations were found between disability status, self-rated improvement and outcomes satisfaction (.57-.81)
Conclusion: An active care program has been shown to produce high levels of clinical improvement and patient satisfaction in a sample of moderate-to-severely disabled spine-pain patients. While this study has limitations, investigations such as this are essential to improve the quality of care provided to work-injured spine-pain patients.
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