A study by Lee and colleagues extrapolated that some 30 million visits were made by pediatric patients to chiropractors in 1997. A 2005 study by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners revealed that the percentage of chiropractic patients under 17 years of age has increased 8.5% since 1991 from 9.7% to 18.2%. The chiropractic care of children is therefore a substantial aspect of chiropractic and the care of children in general. Safety and effectiveness are issues germane to all healthcare providers. To contribute to evidence-based practice, this study was undertaken to determine the effectiveness associated with the chiropractic care of children.
Doctors of Chiropractic participating in a practice-based research network provided the data. The primary complaints were: ENT/Respiratory Disorders, Gastrointestinal Problems and Musculoskeletal Problems. Secondary complaints were: Neuromuscular Dysfunction/Headaches, ENT/Respiratory Disorders, and Immune Dysfunction.
With respect to treatment-associated outcomes; 776 reported experiencing an overall improvement in their presenting symptoms with 17 reported treatment-associated aggravations from 16 patients. There were no treatment-associated complications. Interestingly, 36 DCs reported patient improvements that were unrelated to the presenting complaint, including improved immune function.
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