life, an improved sense of well-being and a better sense of relationship with the patient’s environment and society.
Several studies warrant further discussion in this context. Blanks, Schuster and Dobson published the results of a retrospective assessment of subluxation-based chiropractic care on self-related health, wellness and quality of life.5 This is the largest study of its kind ever undertaken regarding a chiropractic population. After surveying 2,818 respondents in 156 clinics, a strong connection was found between persons receiving chiropractic care and self-reported improvement in health, wellness and quality-of-life. 95% of respondents reported that their expectations had been met, and 99% wished to continue care.
Coulter et al performed an analysis of an insurance database, comparing persons receiving chiropractic care with non-chiropractic patients. The study consisted of senior citizens over 75 years of age. It was reported that the persons receiving chiropractic care reported better overall health, spent fewer days in hospitals and nursing homes, used fewer prescription drugs, and were more active than the non-chiropractic patients.6
Rupert, Manello, and Sandefur surveyed 311 chiropractic patients, aged 65 years and older, who had received "maintenance care" for five years or longer. Chiropractic patients receiving maintenance care, when compared with US citizens of the same age, spent only 31% of the national average for health care services. There was a 50% reduction in medical provider visits. The health habits of patients receiving maintenance care were better overall than the general population, including decreased use of cigarettes and decreased use of nonprescription drugs. Furthermore, 95.8% believed the care to be either "considerably" or "extremely" valuable. Rupert reports that 79% of chiropractic patients have maintenance care recommended to them, and nearly half of those comply.7
In an online survey with 3018 respondents by Miller, 62% responded affirmatively when asked, "Although you feel healthy, would you follow your family member's lead and visit a doctor who focuses on wellness and prevention just so you can stay feeling that way?"8
Three additional studies have addressed this issue. One of the studies consisted of a three arm randomized clinical trial with two control groups (one of which was placebo controlled).9 This was a single blind study utilizing subluxation-centered chiropractic care implemented in a residential addiction treatment setting. A total of 98 subjects (14 female and 84 male) were enrolled in the year and a half study. 100% of the Active (chiropractic) group completed the 30-day program, while only 24 (75%) of the Placebo group and 19 (56%) of the Usual Care group completed 30 days.
The Active group showed a significant decrease in anxiety while the Placebo group showed no decrease in anxiety. The frequency of visits to the Nurse's station was monitored during the course of the study and among the Active treatment group only 9% made one or more visits, while 56% of the Placebo group and 48% in the Usual Care group made such visits. This poor performance by the placebo group suggests that the chiropractic care had no positive placebo effect.
Treatment was five days per week over a period of 30 days, for a total of 20 treatment encounters. Therefore, a 100% retention rate was achieved in a residential treatment setting using subluxation-centered chiropractic. The possible mechanism for such a response is elaborated on in an earlier paper by Holder et al, in which they describe the Brain Reward Cascade in relationship to vertebral subluxation and its role in resolving (RDS) Reward Deficiency Syndrome.10