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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA September 2012
Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 42 Number 3 September 2012 119 CHIROPRACTIC PRACTICE IN NEW SOUTH WALES EATON et al (86%) of respondents believed that clinical practice met their expectations as a student. Practice Characteristics Practitioners were asked about their current working situation, the number of clinics in which they work, where they work, hours worked per week, average income, and length of time at their current location. This information is shown in Tables 9-16. Table 9 shows the number of practices per respondent at the time of the survey. The majority (79%) reported they were at only one clinic, 19.4% worked in two clinics, and 1.4% worked at three clinics. The location of the additional clinics shown in Table 10 indicates a high proportion of rural and interstate clinics. Only 40% of additional clinics were in the vicinity of Sydney while 24.4% were in small rural areas. Six percent (6%) of respondents identifed themselves as not being in active practice. For the majority of these respondents, the main reason reported was 'retirement' (Table 11). Participants were asked if competition from other practitioners was a factor in their decision to cease chiropractic practice. Only one of the fourteen retired respondents indicated that this was a salient factor. Table 12 reveals the number of hours worked per week. Of those respondents who were active in practice (94%), just over a third worked less than 29 hours per week with a similar number working 30-39 hours per week. The remaining respondents worked over 40 hours per week, with 10% of the sample indicating that they worked more than 50 hours per week. Table 13 indicates how long the surveyed chiropractors had been at their current practice. Almost 40% of working chiropractors reported being at their current location for fve years or less. It can be seen from Table 14 that 56.9% of respondents considered other locations at the time of clinic set up. Respondents were also asked whether they had worked at previous practices of which 80% of respondents answered ‘yes’. The most common reasons given by respondents for moving to a new location were to start their own practice (19.2%), family/home reasons (18.1%), current work contract expiring (13%) or to better their lifestyle or location (10.7%). Other prominent reasons included problems with colleagues or bosses, moving house, fnancial reasons, lack of patients, and competition. Of those respondents who had practiced at previous locations, 64% had done so for less than fve years, 5% of whom reported moving within one year. Only 3% of respondents were at their previous location for more than 20 years (Table 15). Income and Operation of Practice Table 16 shows the income of the respondents who took part in the survey. A wide range of incomes were reported, with the most common bracket being $90-114k (20%). Approximately 62% of surveyed chiropractors earned over $90k per annum. Table 17 displays the responses of the surveyed chiropractors regarding sources of patient referral. The most common way for patients to hear about a chiropractor was through word of mouth, with 92% of respondents indicating this referral method. Just over a quarter (29%) of chiropractors indicated that they obtained patients through referrals from other health care practitioners. Participants were also asked if they had Table 17 Sources of Patient Referral Source Frequency Referral 59 Word of Mouth 196 Advertising 71 Passing Trade 38 Total 364 Table 18 Referral System Established Response Relative Frequency (%) Yes 52.2 No 48.8 Total 100.0 Table 19 Types of Practitioners Referred to by Chiropractors Practitioner Type Frequency Acupuncturist 12 Chiropractor 5 Dentist 8 General Practitioner 77 Massage Therapist 45 Naturopath 35 Physiotherapist 9 Podiatrist 34 Total 225 Table 20Number of House Calls Made Per Week Number Relative Frequency (%) 0 82.0 1 9.0 2 2.0 3 1.0 4 0.5 5 or more 0.5 Missing 5.0 Total 100.0
CJA June 2012
CJA December 2012