A Survey of Alabama chiropractors regarding health promotion, primary prevention, and primary care.
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AbstractDoctors of Chiropractic (DCs) perform health promotion as part of routine practice. In addition, the regulating body for chiropractic educational institutions has a standard in place on the teaching of this subject matter in all accredited colleges. The largest chiropractic professional organization in the U.S. (the American Chiropractic Association) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges also have position statements supportive of prevention and health promotion as part of practice. However, very little is known as to whether practicing chiropractors have the aptitude, willingness, competence or the infrastructure to appropriately address primary preventive issues with patients. Additionally, little is known regarding attitudes and beliefs among DC’s in different regions of the country and whether demographic and cultural norms will affect the ability to meet the accrediting agency’s charge. This study applies the Ecological Theory of health promotion to design a survey of attitudes, beliefs and practices of chiropractors in Alabama. Results indicate that although some health promotion practices are performed, many recommended screenings or procedures are not. In addition, though most clinicians agreed that public health measures should be a part of practice, in many cases they reported they did not perform them routinely. Further education and investigation are needed as to how chiropractors can be more involved in prevention and promotion of health as part of routine practice, including removal of actual and perceived barriers to this practice.