The Nordic maintenance care program: what is maintenance care? Interview based survey of Danish chiropractors
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- Chiropractic & Manual Therapies
DOI 10.1186/2045-709X-21-27
Keyword(s)
  1. Maintenance care
  2. Chiropractic
  3. Prophylaxis
  4. Prevention
  5. Health care services
  6. Public health
Abstract(s)

Objective

To describe and interpret Danish Chiropractors’ perspectives regarding the purpose and rationale for using MC (maintenance care), its content, course and patient characteristics.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 chiropractors identified using a stratified, theoretical sampling framework. Interviews covered four domains relating to MC, namely: purpose, patient characteristics, content, and course and development. Data was analysed thematically.

Results

Practitioners regard MC primarily as a means of providing secondary or tertiary care and they primarily recommend it to patients with a history of recurrence. Initiating MC is often a shared decision between clinician and patient. The core elements of MC are examination and manipulation, but exercise and general lifestyle advice are often included. Typically, treatment intervals lie between 2 and 4 months. Clinician MC practices seem to evolve over time and are informed by individual practice experiences.

Chiropractors are more likely to offer MC to patients whose complaints include a significant muscular component. Furthermore, a successful transition to MC appears dependent on correctly matching complaint with management. A positive relationship between chiropractor and patient facilitates the initiation of MC. Finally; MC appears grounded in a patient-oriented approach to care rather than a market-oriented one.

Conclusion

MC is perceived as both a secondary and tertiary preventative measure and its practice appears grounded in the tenet of patient-oriented care. A positive personal relationship between chiropractor and patient facilitates the initiation of MC. The results from this and previous studies should be considered in the design of studies of efficacy.