Musculoskeletal complaints in the elders - are chiropractors an untapped resource?
The number of elderly individuals is increasing worldwide, and healthcare is facing major challenges in dealing with the growing number of patients with age-related disorders. Today, no studies have examined the role and importance of chiropractors in the treatment of elderly patients with musculoskeletal complaints. Therefore, an important first step is to investigate the characteristics of chiropractors that often treat this growing group of patients and study their everyday clinical life.
Early and adequate interventions could potentially improve care and management for older individuals with musculoskeletal complaints, thus preventing the transition into chronicity. The aim of the project is therefore to study chiropractors' experiences and views regarding the treatment and management of patients 55 years and older with musculoskeletal complaints in four European countries. The project will provide new insights into how musculoskeletal complaints in older individuals can be assessed and treated by chiropractors, to determine the role chiropractors could have in primary care.
Healthcare is facing major challenges in dealing with the growing number of patients with age-related disorders where early and adequate intervention can reduce the risk of disability, sick leave, and individual suffering. In addition, negative long-term socio-economic consequences, loss of production and rehabilitation costs will be reduced. If chiropractic treatment and management contribute to maintaining function and improving health in the elderly, it can reduce the workload on physicians in primary care, optimize available care resources and reduce costs for society.
The overall purpose of the project is to study chiropractors' experiences and views regarding the treatment and management of patients 55 years and older with musculoskeletal complaints in four European countries (the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Sweden). This research project will contribute to new insights into musculoskeletal complaints that to a large extent affect the ever-increasing group of older people. The project will report on how musculoskeletal complaints in the elderly can be assessed and treated by chiropractors so that their role as the primary contact in the public health service can be evaluated.
The research project will help to increase knowledge regarding chiropractors' experience in the treatment and management of elderly patients (55 years and older) with musculoskeletal complaints, focusing on challenges such as comorbidity, drug use, and difficulties in patient counselling. The project will identify obstacles and limitations regarding the management/co-management of these patients.
The study will use both qualitative and quantitative methods. Information will be gathered through semi-structured in-depth interviews with chiropractors who frequently treat older patients with musculoskeletal complaints in the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. The interviews will then form the basis for developing an electronic questionnaire that will be sent out to chiropractors in all four countries.