Prevalence and profile of Australian chiropractors treating athletes or sports people: A cross-sectional study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2018, 39 pp. 56 - 61
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Objectives: A range of health-care professionals including chiropractors provide treatment for sports-related health problems. This study reports analyses from the first national workforce survey to determine practitioner and practice-related factors associated with the frequent treatment of athletes or sports people by Australian chiropractors. Design and setting: A 21-item questionnaire collecting information pertaining to practitioner and practice-related characteristics was distributed to all Australian registered chiropractors, as part of the Australian Chiropractic Research Network (ACORN) project and attracted a response rate of 43% (n = 2005). Statistical analyses compared the frequency of treating athletes or sports people against a wide range of relevant practitioner and practice characteristics. Results: Of the respondents, 49.5% (n = 936) reported frequently treating athletes or sports people, and these chiropractors were more likely to be male as well as report more patient care hours and patient visits per week than those chiropractors who did not frequently treat athletes or sports people. Chiropractors who frequently treat athletes or sports people were also more likely to perform multi-modal management, have multi-disciplinary practitioner relations, use diagnostic equipment and discuss nutrition and medication use as part of their patient care than those chiropractors who did not frequently treat athletes or sports people. Conclusions: Nearly half of participating Australian chiropractors treat athletes or sports people frequently. The current and potential role of chiropractors in sports medicine appears significant. Further research is needed to examine the role, practices and outcomes of such chiropractic care helping to, provide treatment and policy development in this area of clinical management.
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