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Description of outcomes, patient experiences and related costs of care in low back pain patients undergoing chiropractic treatment in the UK

Rationale: The prevalence of low back pain and associated costs to society are high. Despite this, the number of studies investigating observational data on the quality and costs of care in routine health care services, such as chiropractic, is relatively small in comparison to the clinical trial evidence available on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of manual therapies for low back pain.

Objective: To document the quality and cost of care in low back pain patients undergoing routine chiropractic care in the United Kingdom.


Participants: A sample of 120 chiropractors and 421 patients.


Conclusions: This programme of research is the first prospective study conducted in routine chiropractic practice simultaneously documenting information about health outcomes and patient experiences and costs of care. Patients improved markedly within the first three months of care and expressed high satisfaction with the chiropractic treatment and consultation they received. Chiropractic care was relatively safe, with common yet benign adverse events that had little influence on activities of daily living. Taken overall, patients receiving chiropractic care reported improvement at arguably reasonable cost, suggesting this approach to the health care of patients with low back pain be considered in the wider context of health care delivery in the United Kingdom.

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