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Kelsey Corcoran
Lori Bastian
Eric DeRycke
Cynthia Brandt
Sally Haskell
Anthony Lisi


Veterans' Health, Low Back Pain


OBJECTIVE: This study examines patient factors associated with the use of chiropractic services among Operations Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Veterans who sought primary care for low back pain (LBP).

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional analysis of cohort of OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with ≥1 primary care visit associated with an ICD-9 code for LBP from 10/01/11 to 09/30/14 at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities that offered on-station chiropractic services. Chiropractic service use was defined as ≥1 chiropractic visit associated with a LBP diagnosis within a year after a primary care visit for LBP. Patient factors, such as demographics, clinical characteristics, and mental health co-morbidities for both recipients of chiropractic care and nonrecipients were collected. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to compare patient factors between recipients of chiropractic care and nonrecipients.

RESULTS: There were 72,810 OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with a primary care visit for LBP and 8.1% used chiropractic services. Compared to nonrecipients, Veterans who received chiropractic services were more likely to be female, white, under 35 years of age, and an officer during military service (p<.05). Chiropractic users were also more likely to have moderate to severe pain, a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder, and a lower body mass index (p<.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study outlines several patient factors associated with receiving VHA chiropractic services for LBP among Veterans of recent wars. These results provide context relevant for further research and operational planning to optimize the care of this Veteran cohort.


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