There is limited information about the degree of Canadian chiropractors’ involvement in treating patients under the age of 18.
To determine how frequently and for what reasons chiropractors treat patients under the age of 18.
A cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 1,200 Canadian chiropractors. In addition to completing a questionnaire, chiropractors were asked to keep a diary for one month indicating how many children under the age of 18 they had seen and for what reason.
Fifty-nine percent completed the questionnaire and 48% the diaries. Almost all chiropractors were involved in treating patients under the age of 18. The older the patients, the more likely chiropractors were to treat them. The diary data show consistently lower involvement in treating patients under age 18 than the questionnaires. Differences were smaller, the older the patient. Questionnaire and diary data show that chiropractors see these patients mostly for musculoskeletal conditions. However, chiropractors overestimated the frequency of treating children with colic, menstrual complaints and immune system conditions on the questionnaire. Major geographic differences were found. Eighty-six percent of chiropractors expressed interest in more training in this field.
These data provide important baseline data for further studies and suggest the importance of further training.
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