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Stress management: an exploratory study of chiropractic patients.

Jamison JR. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000.


BACKGROUND: Stress is a recognized variable in the diagnosis, management, and prognosis of musculoskeletal conditions; chiropractic care is reputed to be successful in the management of stress-related visceral conditions. It may be useful for chiropractors to include stress management as a clinical care option.

OBJECTIVE: To explore screening tools to aid stress self-assessment, investigate patients' perceptions of stress management as a chiropractic care option, and examine which stress-management strategies chiropractic patients perceive as most useful.

DESIGN: A multiphase qualitative study with purposive sampling of chiropractic clinics to maximize the diversity of the patient population. Convenience sampling of patients was undertaken in a Western Australian case study, an inner city, and a national exploratory study. Data for the case study were collected by semistructured interview. Questionnaires and a self-assessed stress-management task were used to collect data from the inner city and national studies. Data was thematically analyzed, and results were triangulated.

RESULTS: The sample size of chiropractic patients in the West Australian case study was 48, 15 in the Western Australia exploratory study and 36 in the national study. A number of chiropractic patients participating in this study perceive themselves to be stressed and were interested in having stress-management strategies included in their chiropractic care. Individual patients preferred different stress-management options. This qualitative study found little justification for routinely using a stress-assessment technique more complex than asking the patient to rate his or her stress level as absent, minimal, moderate, or severe. Exercise, particularly walking, was found to be a prevalent pasttime among participants in the case study.

CONCLUSION: This study was too small to warrant statistical analysis; nonetheless, the results of this study are relevant because some patients believe they would benefit from chiropractic care that includes information about stress-management strategies.


10658874 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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