Landmark Gallup-Palmer Survey Reveals How Consumers Utilize, Perceive Chiropractic Care
By Editorial Staff
What percentage of U.S. adults has visited a doctor of chiropractic in their lifetime? What about in the past year? How about the past five years? And among those who have visited a DC – and those who haven't – what are some of the perceived barriers to care? The Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Inaugural Report: Americans' Perceptions of Chiropractic shares findings from a nationally representative Gallup survey commissioned by Palmer College.
Gallup surveyed 5,442 U.S. adults ages 18 and older via the Web and mail from Feb. 16 – May 6, 2015, assessing their experiences with, and perceptions of, chiropractic. Responses shed light on these and many other questions that have been an ongoing source of speculation inside and outside the profession.
The opening sentence of the report's executive summary provides optimistic data in terms of consumer utilization of chiropractic care: "About half of adults in the U.S. have been to a chiropractor as a patient. Fourteen percent of adults say they saw a chiropractor in the last 12 months, 12% say they saw a chiropractor in the last five years, and 25% say they saw a chiropractor more than five years ago."
The good news is that 14 percent of the adult population (33.6 million) has seen a doctor of chiropractic in the past year. This is a significantly higher utilization percentage than suggested by the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, which put the percentage at approximately 8 percent (20.6 million) annually for the past 10 years. We can feel a certain level of confidence in this data, as the Gallup organization included this question in two unrelated surveys, yielding essentially the same percentage.
Even more good news: According to the report, approximately half of U.S. adults (51 percent or about 123 million) have seen a DC at least once in their lives. Again, this is significantly favorable compared to the 2012 NHIS report, which suggested only about one in four U.S. adults has visited a chiropractor.
Here are some of the other key findings from the inaugural Gallup-Palmer report (the survey will be repeated for at least two more years):
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