Objectives: This study examined the difference in satisfaction between patients assigned to chiropractic vs medical care for treatment of low back pain in a managed care organization.
Methods: Satisfaction scores (on a 10-50 scale) after 4 weeks of follow-up were compared among 672 patients randomized to receive medical or chiropractic care.
Results: The mean satisfaction score for chiropractic patients was greater than the score for medical patients (crude difference = 5.5; 95% confidence interval = 4.5, 6.5). Self-care advice and explanation of treatment predicted satisfaction and reduced the estimated difference between chiropractic and medical patients' satisfaction.
Conclusions: Communication of advice and information to patients with low back pain increases their satisfaction with providers and accounts for much of the difference between chiropractic and medical patients' satisfaction.