J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1997 Oct; 20(8): 507-10.
Chiropractic in Sweden: a short description of patients and treatment.
Nordic Institute for Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark.
BACKGROUND: Most information on chiropractors and chiropractic emanates from North America. With an increasing number of chiropractors in Europe, it is important to produce relevant documentation concerning the European practice of chiropractic. OBJECTIVES: To describe the typical Swedish chiropractic patient and the treatment he/she receives. DESIGN: Chiropractors interviewed 10 consecutive patients using a standardized questionnaire. OUTCOME VARIABLES: Age, sex, previous treatment by chiropractor, area and duration of complaint, area and type of treatment and number of return visits (truncated data). RESULTS: Of the 86 chiropractors who could take part in the study, 78% participated. They each collected information on 10 consecutive patients (n = 628, response rate 73% of target sample), altogether 1858 return visits. Most patients were aged between 25 and 64 yr, with no difference in numbers between genders. Typically, they sought care for low back pain of up to 1 month's duration, were treated with spinal manipulation and received 2-3 treatments. Swedish chiropractic patients thus seem to seek care relatively early and undergo a short-lasting treatment program. However, a larger number of treatments was given to patients with problems of longer duration; patients who had not previously consulted a chiropractor presented with more long-lasting problems. CONCLUSIONS: The findings are in line with present-day concepts that emphasize the concurrent needs to avoid both the development of chronicity and long-lasting, invasive clinical intervention. Chiropractic care seems not to be a first choice therapy for those who have not previously received chiropractic care.