Elderly Health (Geriatrics)

Maintenance care: health promotion services to US chiropractic patients aged 65 and over, Part 11. Rupert, RL, Manello D, Sandefur R: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2003;23(1):10.

This is a study of 73 chiropractic patients who were interviewed and asked, “How important do you feel chiropractic treatment has been in maintaining and promoting your health?”

95.8% said that their chiropractic care was either “considerably” or “extremely” valuable. Also, the longer people were in care, the less nonprescription drugs they used. The authors stated: “Chiropractors may administer more prevention and health-promotion services than any other health profession.” Other findings from the study:

The findings…significantly correlate reduced nervousness with years of maintenance care (MC), as well as possible reduced symptoms of depression…..

“Patients receiving MC had twice as many contacts with a physician during the year than patients who received no chiropractic care at all. These doctor-patient contacts are primarily for chiropractic MC and result in a 50% reduction in medical provider visits. Therefore for those patients receiving MC, chiropractic management appeared to replace medical management rather than be complementary to medical treatment….

The need for hospitalization and the high costs associated with that service were markedly reduced for the patient receiving MC. The total annual cost of health care services for the patient receiving MC was conservatively estimated at only a third of the expenses made by US citizens of the same age. Patients also perceived MC services as highly beneficial to prevention and health promotion.

Chiropractic techniques in the care of the geriatric patient. Killinger, LZ, Cooperstein R

The philosophy, art and science of chiropractic. Lisbon 2000 Symposium proceedings. Pp. 64-68. Pub by the Foundation for the advancement of chiropractic tenets and science, ICA, Arlington, Virginia.

From the abstract:

The elderly patient is most deserving of, and very much in need of, alternatives to the traditional pharmaceutical and surgical options offered through allopathic providers. Chiropractic…is particularly well positioned to take on an important role in providing healthcare to older patients.

Chiropractic care for patients aged 55 years and older: report from a practice-based research program. Hawk C, Long CR, Boulanger KT, et al Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2000:48, pp. 534-45.

Patients completed a questionnaire over a 12 week time which included information on their chief complaints and health status. The Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) and the Pain Disability Index (PEDI) were also completed. Data on over 805 patients 55 years or older were collected over a 12-week period. The study revealed that for two-thirds of the patients, a chiropractor was the only provider for mild to moderate musculoskeletal complaints.

72.3% of the patients had pain related complaints (32.9% of these were for low back pain). Patients decreased use of regular prescription or non-prescription drugs by 7.3% during the 12-week period.

Chiropractic patients in a comprehensive home-based geriatric assessment, follow-up and home promotion program. Coulter ID et al. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic 1996: 3(2): 46-55.

Out of a total population of 414 elderly people 75 years and older, a subpopulation of 23 (5.65%) reported receiving chiropractic care. This figure is similar to published reports of distribution of chiropractic patients in the general population.

It was found that chiropractic users were less likely to have used a nursing home, more likely to report a better health status, more likely to exercise vigorously, and more likely to be mobile in the community. In addition, they were less likely to use prescription drugs.

Study associates chiropractic with better health in the elderly. Today’s Chiropractic November/December 1996 (originally published by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research).

The results of a three year randomized trial of people 75 years of age and over revealed better overall health and a higher quality of life among those who use chiropractic care. Elderly chiropractic patients report better overall health, have fewer chronic conditions, spend fewer days in nursing homes and hospitals, are more mobile in their communities and are less likely to use prescription drugs than non-chiropractic patients according to a study conducted by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research through the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.

87% of chiropractic patients described their health as excellent compared to just 67.8% of non- chiropractic patients.

Copyright 2004 Koren Publications, Inc. & Tedd Koren, D.C.