Chiropractic and CAM utilization: A descriptive review

bmc.gif This review was just published online in Chiropractic & Osteopathy. Free full text is available.

Lawrence DJ, Meeker WC. Chiropractic and CAM utilization: A descriptive review. Chiropr Osteopat 2007; 15(1):2.

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a descriptive review of the scientific literature examining use rates of modalities and procedures used by CAM clinicians to manage chronic LBP and other conditions.
DATA SOURCES: A literature of PubMed and MANTIS was performed using the key terms Chiropractic; Low Back Pain; Utilization Rate; Use Rate; Complementary and Alternative Medicine; and Health Services in various combinations.
DATA SELECTION: A total of 137 papers were selected, based upon including information about chiropractic utilization, CAM utilization and low back pain and other conditions.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Information was extracted from each paper addressing use of chiropractic and CAM, and is summarized in tabular form.
RESULTS: Thematic analysis of the paper topics indicated that there were 5 functional areas covered by the literature: back pain papers, general chiropractic papers, insurance-related papers, general CAM-related papers; and workers compensation papers.
CONCLUSION: Studies looking at chiropractic utilization demonstrate that the rates vary, but generally fall into a range from around 6% to 12% of the population, most of whom seek chiropractic care for low back pain and not for organic disease or visceral dysfunction. CAM is itself used by people suffering from a variety of conditions, though it is often used not as a primary intervention, but rather as an additional form of care. CAM and chiropractic often offer lower costs for comparable results compared to conventional medicine.
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