Patient Satisfaction

In today’s consumer driven health care environment, patient satisfaction is an important health outcome measure.

There have been several surveys conducted in recent years assessing patient satisfaction with chiropractic care, which was found to be extremely high. In addition, these surveys invariably found that the level of satisfaction was significantly higher for care received from chiropractors in comparison to the medical profession.

Surveys have also indicated that chiropractic patients are willing to return for chiropractic treatment for a similar condition and would recommend chiropractic treatment to friends, family and colleagues.

Cherkin, D.C., MacCornack, F.A. (1989) “Patient Evaluation of Low Back Pain Care from Family Physicians and Chiropractors”, Western Journal of Medicine, Vol.150(3), pp. 351-355.

This study compared the satisfaction levels of chiropractic vs. medical low-back-pain patients in a large HMO in the United States. Patients of chiropractors evaluated their provider highly in critical area of patient care while medical doctors received lower ratings. Some results: very satisfied with care (MD patients 22% vs. 66% DC patients); doctor seemed confident about back pain diagnosis (MD patients 23% vs. 61% DC patients); felt doctor was concerned about them (MD patients 20% vs. 58% DC patients.)

Carey, T.S., Garrett, J., Jackman, A., Mclaughlin, C., Fryer, J., Smucker, D.R. (1995) “The Outcomes and Costs of Care for Acute Low Back Pain Among Patients Seen By Primary Care Practitioners, Chiropractors, and Orthopedic Surgeons”, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 333, pp. 913-917.

This study found that low back pain patients whose primary provider was a chiropractor were significantly more satisfied with their care than patients whose primary care provider was a medical doctor, orthopedic surgeon or HMO provider. Patients of chiropractors (in comparison to the others listed above) more frequently responded that the information they received was excellent (47.1% vs. 30.3%), that a careful examination of their back was undertaken (96.1% vs. 79.9%), that the cause of their problem was clearly explained (93.6% vs. 74.6%), and that their satisfaction with the treatment of their back problem was excellent (52.1% vs. 31.5%).

Shekelle, P.G., Markovich, M., Louie, R. (1995) “Factors Associated with Choosing a Chiropractor for Episodes of Back Pain Care”, Medical Care, Vol. 33, pp. 842-850.

This study, which analyzed health insurance data on the use of health services in the United States, found that chiropractors were the choice of one third of all patients who sought back care and who saw only one provider. From previous studies, it was found that approximately two thirds of all outpatient visits for back pain are made to chiropractors. Results of this study indicate that chiropractors were the primary provider for 40 percent of all episodes of back pain and were retained as primary provider by 92 percent of patients who had a second episode of back pain (vs. 75% for general practitioners).