First-Contact Care With a Medical vs Chiropractic Provider: Comparison of Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction, and Health Care Costs in Spinal, Hip, and Shoulder Pain Patients
Content: A ChiroSecure Research Update
The purpose of this study was to identify differences in outcomes, patient satisfaction, and related health care costs in spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients who initiated care with medical doctors (MDs) vs those who initiated care with doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in Switzerland.
A retrospective double cohort design was used. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by first-contact care spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients who, 4 months previously, contacted a Swiss telemedicine provider regarding advice about their complaint. Related health care costs were determined in a subsample of patients by reviewing the claims database of a Swiss insurance provider.
The study sample included 403 patients who had seen MDs and 316 patients who had seen DCs as initial health care providers for their complaint. Differences in patient sociodemographic characteristics were found in terms of age, pain location, and mode of onset.
Although spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients had clinically comparable pain relief irrespective of the initial provider seen, overall health care costs were considerably lower if patients initiated care with DCs compared with those who initiated care with MDs. Moreover, patients initially consulting DCs had greater satisfaction levels with care compared with those initially consulting MDs.
These findings should be confirmed in prospective studies because they may have important implications for patients, clinicians, and third-party payers.
Taco A.W. Houweling DC, MRes,PhD, Andrea V. Braga MD, MBA, Thomas Hausheer DC, Marco Vogelsang DC, Cynthia Peterson RN,DC, MMedEd, PhD, B. Kim Humphreys DC, PhD. First-Contact Care With a Medical vs Chiropractic Provider After Consultation With a Swiss Telemedicine Provider: Comparison of Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction, and Health Care Costs in Spinal, Hip, and Shoulder Pain Patients. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2015 (Sep); 38 (7): 47