The Study: Self-reported use of family physician, chiropractor and physiotherapy services among adult Canadians with chronic back disorders: an observational study.
a. Chronic back disorders (CBD) are a common reason people see a primary care provider.
b. “Although only half of those who experience low back pain are thought to consult a health care provider…”
c. The study examines usage of the services of physicians, chiropractors and physiotherapists in Canada.
d. “The focus of our analysis was persons aged 18years and older who had not been hospitalized in the past year (N = 113,647).
e. “This research highlights potential inequities in access to physiotherapists and chiropractors in relation to family physicians among adult Canadians with CBD, particularly among lower socioeconomic status and rural/remote populations.”
f. “The majority of adult respondents with CBD sought care only with a family physician (53.8%), with 20.9% and 16.2% seeking care with combined family physician/chiropractor or family physician/physiotherapist, respectively. Few respondents sought care only with a chiropractor (2.5%) or physiotherapist (1.0%).”
g. The authors stated, “Enhancing access to potentially beneficial non-physician services for people with CBD requires rethinking the way front-line back care is delivered in Canada, including pressure on insurers and policy makers to cover and enable greater access to non-pharmacological management treatment options that have demonstrated value.”
The vast majority of patients surveyed in this study sought care with their medical physician in conjunction with either a chiropractor or physiotherapist. Only a small percentage sought only the care of either a chiropractor or physiotherapist without also consulting their medical provider.
The authors concluded there might be a lack of access to chiropractic or physiotherapist services in the group they surveyed.
Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC
Editor: Mark R. Payne DC
Reference: Bath B, Lawson J, Ma D, Trask C. Self-reported use of family physician, chiropractor and physiotherapy services among adult Canadians with chronic back disorders: an observational study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018 Dec 17;18(1):970. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3790-6.
Link to Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30558605