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Home Chiropractic Research Quality of Life / Wellness Changes in General Health Status During Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: PBR Report

Changes in General Health Status During Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: PBR Report

This is a practice-based research (PBR) project. PBR doctors collected and pooled data on their patients in their private offices .

From the abstract:   Data have been [so far] collected on 153 patients. Among the factors tested for are: Physical functioning (PF) limitations in physical activities due to physical problems, bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), vitality (V), social functioning (SF) - limitations in social activities due to physical or emotional problems, mental health (MH).


The preliminary results show that patients enter into upper cervical chiropractic care with a variety of mostly musculoskeletal complaints. At the outset of care, those patients have significantly lower health status, as measured by SF-36, than the general population. There is a general trend for patients to experience an upward trend in their perception of health as measured by both the SF-36 and the GWBS (global well-being score). Analysis of SF-36 scores showed improvement in all categories compared to the initial scores upon initial care.

The average patient improvement was 12.1% within the first four weeks, and increased to 45.6% by maximum improvement. Overall, the chiropractic patients on whom they had complete data improved on all subscales and show scores exceeding the national norms on four of the eight scales (GH, V, SF, MH). In addition, analysis of x-ray listing factors suggests that upper cervical chiropractic adjustment improves misalignment of the occipito-atlanto-axial spine.

Although these results are encouraging many of our original questions go unanswered because of a lack of follow-up data. In addition, the sample size is too small; additional upper cervical chiropractic offices are needed as collection sites. Better tracking of patient attrition is required to assess the length of chiropractic care needed to reach maximum improvement for specific conditions.

Owens, Edward F., Hoiriis, Kathryn T., Burd, Deana.   Chiropractic Research Journal 1998 (Spring); V (1)