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September 2019

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1995 Mar-Apr; 18(3): 129-34.

Chiropractic in The Netherlands: a survey of Dutch chiropractors.

Assendelft WJ, Pfeifle CE, Bouter LM.

Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

BACKGROUND: In the Netherlands, there is increasing public and political interest in chiropractic treatment. There is, however, very little descriptive information available in the Netherlands on the chiropractic profession. Therefore, a survey was conducted among all Dutch chiropractors. METHODS: A questionnaire was sent to all members of the Netherlands' Chiropractors Association (n = 59). It contained questions on (postgraduate) education, practice management, diagnostics (including radiology use), treatment, interprofessional cooperation and referral. RESULTS: The response was 88%. Chiropractic is growing rapidly: the number of chiropractors has doubled in five years. Chiropractors primarily treat back and neck pain, with an average of 8 treatments. Conventional orthopedic and neurological examination along with motion palpation are the cornerstones of physical examination. The respondents stressed the importance of direct access to radiography and specialized (hospital) diagnostics. Fifty-eight percent of the chiropractors have their own X-ray equipment. The most frequent reason for taking new X-rays was the absence of cooperation with radiology departments. Self-referral is the largest source of patients. The referral rate to other health care professionals is low. CONCLUSIONS: The number of chiropractors is growing rapidly. They have an exceptional position in the Dutch health care system. Access to X-ray and more specialized diagnostics are presently the most important political issues.

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