At the 2007 Annual Association of Chiropractic Colleges/Research Agenda Convention, in March, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (I.C.P.A.) presented a survey paper titled: The practice of pediatric chiropractic. The survey was conducted by the I.C.P.A. polling from its international DC membership. The paper was written and submitted by Joel Alcantara, DC, Research Director, I.C.P.A., Inc.
From the paper:
To further characterize the practice of pediatric chiropractic, we undertook this survey study of chiropractic members of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, the largest free standing post-graduate training organization in the field of Pediatric Chiropractic.
Materials and Methods
A survey study characterizing the practice of pediatric chiropractic was e-mailed to 1500 chiropractors. Six hundred forty-six completed and returned the survey, 98 were duplicates, bringing the total to 548 respondents for a response rate of 71 percent.
Of the respondents, 332 were female and 216 were male. The seven most common techniques used in practice were Diversified Technique, Activator Technique, Thompson Technique, Cranio Sacral Technique, Gonstead Technique, SOT Technique and Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP) Technique.
Our responders saw an average of 133 patient visits per week with 28 visits from those less than 18 years of age. The average cost of an initial visit was $127, with a follow-up at $42. The sources of practice income were equal from insurance and cash practices with a large percentage of pediatric visits paid out-of-pocket. The most common types of care were spinal adjustments followed by wellness care, the use of herbs, exercise & rehabilitation care and prayer healing.
The five most common reasons for pediatric visits were for wellness, ear problems, digestive problems, musculoskeletal and ADD/ADHD. Some 55 percent of the responders refer to medical providers, while only 28 percent receive pediatric referrals.
To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the largest database from which to characterize the practice of pediatric chiropractic in North America. A significant number of visits to a chiropractor are from children and even if it is inconsistent with medical guidelines, it is consistent (at face value) with wellness and prevention. Further research is needed to fully examine the issues involved.
Another interesting finding with the survey results was that more than 50 percent of the respondents did not feel confident, coming out of chiropractic college, in caring for children. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association was the first organization in our profession to offer a Certification Program in Chiropractic Pediatrics. Its founder, Dr. Larry Webster, noted the importance of pediatric care and launched the Certification program in the early 90’s. Since then, the I.C.P.A. has launched the largest, most successful Diplomate program in the world. Total hours of education are 360, including numerous research projects and technique classes. The program is co-sponsored and recognized with postgraduate credits by Cleveland Chiropractic College, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Parker College of Chiropractic and Life University.
It is important to note that the I.C.P.A. is an international, educational, non-profit, organization, independent from any national political organization. Funding from members supports a successful public educational program and a full time research department dedicated to the chiropractic family practice.
Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children.” She is Executive Coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association: www.icpa4kids.com and can be reached at: [email protected]