OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expectations of new patients consulting a chiropractor and to evaluate differences and similarities in expectations between chiropractors and patients. STUDY PARTICIPANTS: Thirty chiropractors and 336 patients from 17 private practices throughout Sweden.
RESULTS: Chiropractors and patients expected the chiropractor to find the problem and explain it to the patients, and they also expected patients to feel better and become free of symptoms.
This reinforces the importance of communication between the chiropractor and the patients.
A large number of chiropractors fear that if they do not separate themselves from the traditional vitalistic concept of innate intelligence, chiropractic will continue to be seen as a fringe profession.
Straight chiropractors believe that vertebral subluxation leads to interference with an "innate intelligence" exerted via the human nervous system and is a primary underlying risk factor for many diseases.
The main chiropractic treatment technique involves manual therapy, especially spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), manipulations of other joints and soft tissues.
Chiropractic has two main groups: "straights", now the minority, emphasize vitalism, "innate intelligence" and spinal adjustments, and consider vertebral subluxations to be the cause of all disease; "mixers", the majority, are more open to mainstream views and conventional medical techniques, such as exercise, massage, and ice therapy.
However, the following differences were revealed: patients had lower expectations of the chiropractic treatment than the chiropractors but higher expectations of being given advice and exercises than the chiropractors did.