Public perception of chiropractic: a survey

Kylie Wilson, Kate Swincer, Subramanyam Vemulpad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is limited data on the public's perception of chiropractic. Objective: To identify the public's perception about what chiropractic is and their views about chiropractors' role in health care. Design: A survey was conducted to gather the public's perception using a 29-item questionnaire. The questions related to any history of chiropractic use, their opinion on chiropractic, risks or concerns regarding care, chiropractic education, etc. Results: Of the 182 respondents, the majority (76%) believed that chiropractors work with bones, muscles and joints, with only 10% believing that chiropractors work on the nervous system. Only 18% believed that prevention was a focus of chiropractic care. Of the 155 responses regarding satisfaction with chiropractic care, 81% were happy with their treatment, 6% were unhappy and 12% were unsure. For the 6% that were unhappy, concerns related to costs and the number of visits required. Most respondents believed that chiropractors treat people adolescent age and above. Thirty four per cent (34%) and 56% believed that chiropractors are as well trained as GPs and physiotherapists, respectively. Sixty four per cent (64%) of participants perceived that chiropractic is not dangerous, 57% were interested to know more, and 19% responded that they needed convincing to see a chiropractor. Conclusion: Participants in general were interested in chiropractic and held no real concerns regarding risks or cost involved, however there appears to be a lack of information available to the public for them to be better informed about chiropractic. This information could help the profession's efforts in making chiropractic a better understood and more accepted modality through effective education and communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalChiropractic Journal of Australia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • MeSH
  • chiropractic
  • patient care
  • patient education
  • attitude to health
  • health promotion


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