Utilization of Chiropractic Care in US Children and Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey

Academic Article


  • Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of chiropractic utilization and examine sociodemographic characteristics associated with utilization in a representative sample of US children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 years. Methods: Data are from 9734 respondents to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Age, sex, race/ethnicity, geography, family income, parental educational attainment, and other health care providers served as exposure variables. Chiropractic utilization in the past 12 months (yes/no) was the targeted outcome. Weighted crude and adjusted logistic regression models, controlling for relevant covariates, were performed. Results: The 12-month prevalence of chiropractic utilization in US children was 3.0% (95% confidence interval: 2.6%-3.6%). The adjusted odds (95% confidence interval) of chiropractic utilization were higher among 11- to 17-year-olds (2.02 [1.41-2.90]) (vs 4- to10-year-olds), Midwest residents (2.45 [1.36-4.44]) (vs Northeast), families with incomes ≥$100 000 (3.25 [1.87-5.66]) (vs <$35 000), and those that visited other Complementary and Integrative Health (also known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine) practitioners (11.26 [7.19-17.64]). Blacks and Asians had lower adjusted odds of chiropractic utilization compared with whites (0.17 [0.06-0.47] and 0.17 [0.07-0.43], respectively). Sex, parental education, and having an orthodox medical personal physician were not associated with utilization. Conclusion: Although overall prevalence was low, sociodemographic characteristics of child and adolescent users of chiropractic care were identified. Age, race/ethnicity, region of residence, family income, and utilization of other Complementary and Integrative Health services were associated with chiropractic utilization, after adjusting for sociodemographic covariates.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Peng T; Chen B; Gabriel KP
  • Start Page

  • 725
  • End Page

  • 733
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 9