OBJECTIVE: To identify the professional and demographic characteristics of the chiropractors in South Dakota.
DESIGN: Mail survey that covered four major areas: 1) demographics of the chiropractors, 2) population served, 3) factors influencing the economic aspects of the practice, and 4) practice characteristics. A reminder was sent 1 month following the first mailing.
SETTING: The state of South Dakota.
SUBJECTS: The questionnaire was mailed to all licensed chiropractors in South Dakota (n = 157).
RESULTS: The response rate was 68%. Chiropractors responding to the survey were mostly (96%) males and the average age was 41.4 yr with an estimated average of 15 yr of experience. The chiropractors surveyed spent just less than 40 hr/wk at work averaging 128 patient visits with the majority (47%) complaining of low back pain. Data regarding income, the sources of payment, type of community of practice, and the diagnostic as well as treatment techniques were also analyzed. Further analysis was also done to compare rural to urban areas.
CONCLUSION: Rural communities have fewer chiropractors than nonrural areas. Future research needs to be directed toward rural area chiropractic care delivery, with special emphasis on factors influencing recruitment and retention of chiropractors in rural areas. The study also showed a need for more involvement with the younger patient groups (18 yr and under). Health services researchers and chiropractic colleges each has an important role in the advancement of pediatric and adolescent health care.
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