Original Research

A Retrospective Assessment of Network Care Using a Survey of Self-Rated Health, Wellness and Quality of Life
Robert H. I. Blanks, Ph.D BIO, Tonya L. Schuster, Ph.D BIO, Marnie Dobson, B.A. BIO
[Vol 1, No. 3. p 1]

The present study represents a retrospective characterization of Network Care, a health care discipline within the subluxation-based chiropractic model. Data were obtained from 156 Network offices (49% practitioner participation rate) in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Puerto Rico. Sociodemographic characterization of 2818 respondents, representing a 67-71% response rate, revealed a population predominately white, female, well-educated, professional, or white collar workers. A second objective of the study included the development and initial validation of a new health survey instrument.The instrument was specifically designed to assess wellness through patients’ self-rating different health domains and overall quality of life at two "time" points: "presently" and retrospectively, recalling their status before initiating care ("before Network"). Statistical evaluation employing Chronbach’s alpha and theta coefficients derived from principle components factor analyses, indicated a high level of internal reliability in regard to the survey instrument, as well as stable reliability of the retrospective recall method of self-rated perceptions of change as a function of duration of care. Results indicated that patients reported significant, positive perceived change (p < 0.000) in all four domains of health, as well as overall quality of life. Effect sizes for these difference scores were all large (>0.9). Wellness was assessed by summing the scores for the four health domains into a combined wellness scale, and comparing this combined scale "presently" and "before Network." The difference, or "wellness coefficient" spanning a range of -1 to +1, with zero representing no change, showed positive, progressive increases over the duration of care intervals ranging from 1-3 months to over three years.The evidence of improved health in the four domains (physical state, mental/emotional state, stress evaluation, life enjoyment), overall quality of life from a standardized index, and the "wellness coefficient," suggests that Network Care is associated with significant benefits.These benefits are evident from as early as 1-3 months under care, and appear to show continuing clinical improvements in the duration of care intervals studied, with no indication of a maximum clinical benefit.These findings are being further evaluated through longitudinal studies of current populations under care in combination with investigation of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying its effects.

Key Words: Network spinal analysis, vertebral subluxation, chiropractic, self-rated outcomes assessment, wellness, overall quality of life.