Patients at Marburg Haven Clinic : a demographic and disease profile
Hitge, Candice Elaine
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Aim: A paucity of information on chiropractic patients presenting in public community clinics in South Africa (SA) exists. The purpose of this study was to carry out a demographic and disease survey of the patients that presented to the Marburg Haven Clinic, so to identify the patients that presented in a rural community outreach programme. Methods: A retrospective analysis on the patient files at Marburg Haven Clinic was completed in September 2012. Data recorded included demographic data, presenting complaints, patient history and management protocols. Results: Data of 117 patients were documented. Most patients were female (76.1%), with a mean age of 53.3 years. Indian patients (50.4%) presented most often, with a quarter of the patients unemployed (26.5%) or pensioners (21.4%). Of the employed patients, 26.5% had not specified the type of occupation and 9.4% were non-manual workers. Musculoskeletal complaints (21.2%) were the most common complaints at the Marburg Haven Clinic, with the primary diagnosis of sacroiliac syndrome (16.2%), followed by general myofascitis (22.4%). Common co-morbidities reported were hypertension, diabetes and asthma. Less than half the patient population had undergone previous surgeries and/or sought previous treatment from other medical practitioners. Sixteen patients were contra-indicated for manipulation. Common treatment protocols used were spinal manipulation, spinal mobilisation and stretching. Conclusion: This is a demographic and descriptive study of a public community outreach centre in South Africa. In relation to international studies, similarities were that the majority of the patients were female, anatomical sites of complaint (lumbar and cervical pain), common usage of radiographs, co-morbidities including cardiovascular and endocrine pathologies and manipulation were used as the treatment of choice. A prospective longitudinal study with more specific criteria for patient tracking and more defined data capture requirements is recommended to more accurately gather all data within similar settings.