The Significance of the Study
The study reveals that while both treatment types cost about the same, the chiropractic care resulted in better outcomes for patients. These outcomes were measured in terms of:
- pain relief
- satisfaction with care
- disability scores.
The study looked at 2780 patients who made their own choice to see either a chiropractor or a medical doctor for their pain. The patients were studied both 3 months and 1 year after their first visit to their chosen doctor.
At the medical doctor's, patients were given:
- prescription drugs
- an exercise program
- self-care advice
- a referral to physical therapy, as necessary (25% of patients).
- spinal manipulation
- physical therapy modalities
- patient education.
The study found that although office visit costs were higher for chiropractic treatment, total costs of chiropractic care per patient were 16% lower than for medical care. Total care included the office visits, plus diagnostic imaging and physical therapy. This study did not account for any over-the-counter meds, surgery or visits to the hospital that may have been associated with the cases. The study also showed that patients with chronic pain derived more benefit than those with acute pain from the chiropractic treatments. It also revealed that acute care patients who sought out a chiropractor enjoyed healthier physical outcomes than acute care patients of medical doctors.
EurekAlert!,"New study shows chiropractic is cost-effective in treating chronic back pain", EurekAlert! http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-11/aca-nss111505.php
Created on: November 30, 2005