Communication between general and manipulative practitioners: a survey
Abstract: A survey of general practitioners (GPs) in the south of England was undertaken to determine their understanding and communication needs in referring patients to practitioners of manipulation. Eighty-six out of 309 GPs replied to a postal questionnaire (28% response).The results suggest that, while routine communication is important for improving understanding, GPs appear to have a preference for disciplines of which they have personal experience. The majority of responders favoured receiving a report on one side of A5 paper when the patient completes treatment. This should contain the nature of treatment and advice given and an indication of its outcome. Those who desired an initial report wanted it to contain a summary of the nature of the problem, a brief history, a summary of relevant findings from the examination, any investigations and a prognosis.Many GPs commented that they were more comfortable in referring to physiotherapists because they felt they had a better understanding of the treatment involved. Furthermore, chiropractic and osteopathic terminologies were reported to be confusing more often than physiotherapy terminology. Bearing in mind the potential bias in responses due to its geographical limitations and low response rate, this study provides useful indicators for manipulative and GPs who wish to work more closely together.