Palmer-Gallup Year Three Findings: Majority of U.S. Adults Have Positive Perception of Chiropractic, But Too Many Still Don’t Know Enough About Chiropractic Care
More Than Three in Four Americans Want Pain Management Options Other Than Medication
On October 3, 2017, Palmer College of Chiropractic released the results of their third annual collaboration with polling giant Gallup regarding chiropractic care. For the third edition, Gallup also polled Americans on their perceptions regarding prescription pain medication. The following are just a few of the key findings from this year's survey:
A Majority of U.S. Adults Have Positive Views of Chiropractors
- 63 percent agree most chiropractors have their patient’s best interest in mind.
- 52 percent agree most chiropractors are trustworthy.
A Majority of Americans Prefer to Try Other Ways to Address Pain Before Taking Pain Medication
- 78 percent prefer to try other ways to address their physical pain before they take pain medication prescribed by a doctor.
- 27 percent of U.S. adults have seen a health-care professional for significant neck or back pain in the last 12 months. Of those adults, more than half (54 percent) have had an ongoing problem with neck or back pain for five years or more.
- 22 percent of U.S. adults prefer to take pain medication prescribed by a doctor to treat their physical pain.
Many Americans Do Not Know Enough About Chiropractic Care
- Half of U.S. adults who’ve never been to a chiropractor are uncertain whether chiropractors are trustworthy and whether chiropractic care is dangerous or expensive.
- Education about chiropractic care increases the likelihood people will go to a chiropractor, especially for African Americans and younger adults.
Drug-Free Pain Management
According to the results, the chiropractic profession has an opportunity to position itself as a drug-free option for pain management. Eight out of 10 adults in the United States think chiropractic care can help with back and neck pain; 41 percent think it can help a great deal. And, U.S. adults also believe chiropractic care is safer than prescription pain medication for patients with significant neck or back pain. Adults with a high school diploma or less education (25%), adults over 65 years old (20%), and adults who have never been to a chiropractor (18%) are less likely than those in other subgroups to say chiropractic care is safer than prescription pain medication.
Knowledge of Chiropractic Care
U.S. adults are still not highly knowledgeable about chiropractic care. Half of adults in the United States (50%) do not know the philosophies that guide chiropractic care. Among U.S. adults, 18% went to a chiropractor in the last 12 months. Nearly half of adults who have not seen a chiropractor for care in the last 12 months (47%) say they would be more likely to go to a chiropractor for care if they knew more about what chiropractors do. Finally, three in 10 adults say the main reason more people don’t go to a chiropractor is that they lack information about the chiropractic profession.
Collaboration on Care
Chiropractic patients and non-patients alike favor collaboration between chiropractors and other doctors. More than two-thirds of adults in the United States who have not seen a chiropractor for care in the last 12 months (68%) say they would be more likely to go to a chiropractor for care if they knew their chiropractor would work closely with their other doctors. Last year’s Gallup-Palmer report found that more than two-thirds of adults in the United States who have seen a chiropractor in the last 12 months (71%) want their chiropractor to work closely with their other doctors to collaborate on their healthcare.
Insurance Coverage for Chiropractic Care
Lack of insurance coverage costs chiropractic patients. Chiropractic patients without insurance for chiropractic care pay nearly twice as much for a typical chiropractic appointment as do those with insurance for chiropractic care. Additionally, 60% of chiropractic patients have insurance coverage for chiropractic care, but only 46% of chiropractic patients say insurance paid for at least some of their chiropractic care. The main reasons given by chiropractic patients who had to pay out-of-pocket expenses for their chiropractic care are that their chiropractor is out-of-network or their deductible or copay has not been met yet.
The full Gallup-Palmer report can be downloaded here: http://www.palmer.edu/uploadedFiles/Pages/Alumni/Palmer_Gallup_AnnualReport_2017-final.pdf
Source: 2017 Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Report: Americans’ Views of Prescription Pain Medication and Chiropractic Care, www.palmer.edu/gallup-report.