Chiropractic and conventional therapy for acute and chronic health conditions among Appalachian residents

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Virginia K. Weisz (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Eileen Kohlenberg

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the demographic profiles, the major reported health problems, and the complementary, alternative (CAM), and conventional treatments used for these health problems and for wellness by a sample of rural Appalachian chiropractic patients. Differences in patient profiles among patients with acute and chronic problems and between chiropractic and non-chiropractic problems were also analyzed. A non-experimental descriptive cross-sectional design was employed. Descriptive analyses revealed that participants (N = 130) were 37 men and 93 women who were predominately white, married, middle-aged, well-educated and lived in Lee, Wise, Floyd or a surrounding county in Southwest Virginia. The majority of respondents were employed, insured, had an income greater than $35,000 per year, and reported their health as either "very good" or "good." They reported a low rate of alcohol and tobacco use. They tended to use either a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) or a medical provider or both as a regular source of health care. A DC was used as a health care provider six percent more than a medical provider for regular health care visits. Respondents reported forty separate health conditions as the main two health problems they experienced, the majority being chronic versus acute problems. Back, neck, and joint problems were the most frequently reported followed by headaches, diabetes, hypertension, thyroid, gastrointestinal, sinus and lung problems. The majority of the sample used chiropractic manipulation/adjustment with a substantial percentage of respondents using massage therapy or the two treatments concurrently. Chiropractic manipulation was used by one-quarter to one-third of those with diabetes and hypertension to treat these conditions and was employed by respondents with thyroid, gastrointestinal, sinus and lung problems as well. About one-quarter to one-half of respondents with these conditions used chiropractic manipulation, massage therapy, or both therapies together for treatment. The use of energy work, counseling, physical therapy, and reflexology were reported by only a small number of respondents. Differences in patient profiles among patients with acute and chronic health problems were evaluated with health status found to be significantly better in those with acute as compared with chronic health conditions. Those respondents who were not working were found to have non-chiropractic or medical problems more often.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Chiropractic, Complementary, Complementary and alternative, Health care access, Research, Rural medicine
Appalachians (People) $x Medical Care $z Virginia, Southwest
Medicine, Rural $z Virginia, Southwest
Chiropractic $z Virginia, Southwest
Alternative medicine $z Virginia, Southwest

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