Two surveys of 121 preselected Victorian and South Australian chiropractors were conducted during the period of December 1986 to February 1987 in order to investigate whether practice location (metropolitan area and country town) and chiropractor/population ratio (number of chiropractors per 10,000 inhabitants) have any effect on patient numbers, practice procedures and practitioner attitudes. Practitioners' response rates to the first and second questionnaires were 82% and 61%, respectively. Analysis of data revealed that metropolitan chiropractors utilized more adjunctive therapies than their country town colleagues. Most chiropractors felt that the number of chiropractors in their area was sufficient. However, there appeared to be no difference in patient numbers (patient visits and new patients) and ratio of new patients to patient visits as related to practitioner density or practice location. Patient volume appeared to be practitioner-induced; fewer new patients corresponded to a higher number of revisiting patients, and maintenance care corresponded to a higher number of patient visits.
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