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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Use of chiropractic services in the rural south

Samruddhi Thaker, MBBS, MHA, Health Policy and Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 725 Airport Road, CB 7590, Sheps Center for Health Services Research, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7590, 9199664371, sthaker@email.unc.edu and Donald E Pathman, MD, MPH, Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 725 Airport Road, CB 7590, Chapel Hill, NC 27713-7590.

Use of chiropractic services has grown over the past three decades; use in the south is lower than in other parts of the U.S. Less is known about chiropractic service use in rural areas. This study examines the use of chiropractic services among adults in the rural south using cross-sectional data collected through a telephone survey in 150 rural counties in eight southern states. 4,879 respondents completed the survey for a response rate of 50.7%. The primary outcome variable for this study is subjects’ response to the question “In the past 12 months, have you been to see a chiropractor?” Analyses were weighted to adjust for sampling probabilities and demographic group response rates. Of 4,869 adults answering the question on chiropractic use, 353 (6.54%) reported seeing a chiropractor in the previous year. Use was more common among whites than blacks (8% vs. 4%, p=0.001) and among married, more educated, employed, and higher income individuals (p<0.05). Use varied from 3.2% to 9.8% across states (p=0.0001) and was correlated with states’ chiropractor-to-population ratios (r=0.61; p=0.1). Except cost of physician care, people’s experiences and perceptions of the care they received from physicians were unrelated to their likelihood of having used chiropractic services. These findings provide information on the demographic characteristics of individuals who use chiropractic services in the rural south and provide some evidence that recent effort of the National Health Service Corps and Veterans Administration to enhance chiropractor availability in underserved areas and in VA settings will likely increase chiropractic service use.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will

    Keywords: Access to Care, Chiropractic

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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    Chiropractic in the Changing Health Care Environment

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA