Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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JRRD Volume 46, Number 8, 2009

Volume 46 Number 8, 2009
   Pages 997 — 1002

Abstract — Characteristics of Veterans Health Administration chiropractors and chiropractic clinics

Anthony J. Lisi, DC;1-2* Christine Goertz, DC, PhD;3 Dana J. Lawrence, DC, MMedEd;4 Preeti Satyanarayana, MD, MPH5

1Veterans Health Administration, Office of Rehabilitation Services, Washington, DC; 2Chiropractic Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; 3Research and Health Policy, 4Center for Teaching and Learning, and 5Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, IA

Abstract — Chiropractic services have been delivered on station at select Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical facilities since late 2004. No published data describing the characteristics of VHA chiropractic physicians (chiropractors) and chiropractic clinics exist at a national level. This study was designed to examine elements of the structures of chiropractic services in VHA settings. Web-based survey methods were used to question all chiropractors in VHA facilities (N = 36). Data were obtained from 33 providers, yielding a 91.6% response rate. Most respondents were full-time VHA employees, while others were part-time employees or contractors. Differences were found in prior training, integrated practice, and academic or research experience. Of the respondents, 88% ranked low back pain as the most common patient complaint seen in practice and 79% ranked cervical pain the second most common complaint. Of the new patient consultations, 67.6% originated from primary care, 9.4% from pain management, and 6.2% from physiatry. Most respondents were similar in their reported use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, but their reported rates of participation in various facility activities were different. Further work is needed for researchers and policy makers to more fully understand the integration and delivery of chiropractic services in VHA settings.

Key words: chiropractic clinics, chiropractors, Department of Veterans Affairs, health services, integration, physical medicine, providers, rehabilitation services, survey research, veteran.

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