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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA September 2013
88 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 43 Number 3 September 2013 With regards to age and gender, males and females of the same age groups, experienced pain syndromes with a similar relative frequency in almost all areas (results not presented). Some notable exceptions include the higher prevalence of headaches, neck, and lower back pain in females. Females under 65 are more likely than males to suffer headaches ( 12 = 31.088, p<0.001); in age group 25-44, females are signifcantly more likely than males to suffer lower back pain ( 12 = 7.092, p<0.01); in age group 25-44, females are signifcantly more likely than males to suffer neck pain ( 12 = 11.214, p<0.001). Therapy Utilisation Respondents were asked which healthcare professionals they would choose as their frst contact with respect to therapy for their current health needs. They were presented with a list of six professions and were also offered the option of specifying another strategy or to opt for not engaging a health profession. As shown in Figure 2, a medical practitioner (“Doctor”) was the frst contact with respect to therapy for the highest number of respondents (35.5%). The next most popular answer was that respondents would choose to see 'no one’ (19.3%). This response may refect the possibility that they may have been symptom free at the time of responding to the survey and therefore felt no desire to consult anybody. Chiropractic was scored as the third highest option on this question (16%), ahead of physiotherapy (13.8%) and massage (10.2%). Osteopathy, although closely related to chiropractic in some ways, ranked far below (1.8%) the other therapies. No signifcant differences in the choice of therapy with regards to income (p=0.317) and gender (p=0.148) were detected. A highly signifcant difference in choice of therapy was observed for age (p<0.001), whereby older respondents were more likely to seek a doctor compared to younger respondents, and younger respondents more likely not to select a practitioner at all as frst contact. This is perhaps a refection of younger participants having a lack of current health problems as noted earlier. It was also of interest to ascertain whether the choice of healthcare professional for frst contact was informed by, or related to the nature of the respondent's health problems. As such, only those who responded 'yes' to each type of pain were examined in the following analyses. Overall medical doctors were the most popular choice as a frst contact professional for all types of pain and chiropractic was the second most popular choice. For lower back pain, respondents were signifcantly (p<0.001) more likely to choose medical practitioners, chiropractic and physiotherapy than other therapies as their frst contact. For neck pain, respondents were signifcantly (p<0.001) more likely to choose medical practitioners, chiropractic, and massage than other therapies as their frst contact. This pattern was similar for shoulder pain (p<0.001). For mid-back, rib, hip, knee and wrist pain respondents were signifcantly (p≤0.001) more likely to choose medical practitioners and chiropractic than other therapies. For headaches respondents were signifcantly more likely (p<0.001) to go to medical practitioners, chiropractors, or to not consult anyone from other therapies. For elbow, ankle, fnger, and toe pain, respondents were signifcantly more likely (p<0.001) to go to medical practitioners than anyone else as their frst point of contact. Respondents were asked to identify which therapy helped them the most with easing their symptoms. On this question respondents identifed other therapies as the highest (23%), physiotherapy the second highest (18%), followed by chiropractic (15.9%), massage (15.5%) and medical practice (14%) (Figure 3). Use of Chiropractic Respondents were asked if they had previously sought chiropractic care. An affrmative response was received from 302 (39.9%) participants who answered the question. Using logistic regression with previous chiropractic use as the outcome and gender, age group and income group as predictors we found that neither gender (p=0.667) nor income group (p=0.842) were associated with previous SURVEY OF GENERAL PUBLIC BROWN et al Figure 1: Prevalence of Different Types of Discomfort or Pain Figure 2: Respondent's First Choice of Therapy
CJA June 2013
CJA December 2013