Retrospective cost comparison of chiropractic versus medical treatment of back pain in a typical South African mechanised underground mining environment

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. C. Hay and Dr. T. Hollinshead en
dc.contributor.author Hawley, Douglas Peter
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-19T07:37:29Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-19T07:37:29Z
dc.date.issued 2010-04-19T07:37:29Z
dc.date.submitted 2009-02
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3208
dc.description M. Tech. en
dc.description.abstract It is well known internationally that the high prevalence of back pain costs the economies of the world many billions of dollars annually. This has prompted a great deal of research abroad into means of reducing the deleterious economic effects of back pain. One of the results of this research is the realisation that Chiropractic treatment of back pain offers an efficacious and cost effective alternative to the conventional medical treatments currently employed in most countries. To this end there has been a move, by health management organisations in the USA and Canada, toward the integration of Chiropractic into their health care systems in a gatekeeper role with notable success in terms of cost reduction. Similar research has not been conducted in the Republic of South Africa and, notwithstanding the evidence emerging from abroad, Chiropractic, although integrated into many health care systems, remains inaccessible to most back pain sufferers, particularly those employed in the lower ranks of industry. This is in large part due to the unavailability of Chiropractic services in the more remote areas of the country where many mines are situated, but also partly due to the lack of incentive for mining companies to make use of Chiropractic services. The data used in this study was obtained from the in-house medical aid of a reputable South African mining company. The data was used to summarise the cost of treatment of selected categories of back pain by the various service providers within the medical fraternity. The medical costs were then compared to the similarly summarised Chiropractic cost of treatment for the same categories of back pain. The results indicate that Chiropractic costs compare favourably with those of the General Practitioner (GP) and Physiotherapists on a stand alone basis. The data indicates however that the medical approach invariable leads to specialist referral that in turn often results in surgery with the associated imaging, theatre and hospitalisation costs. When these costs are considered it becomes obvious that Chiropractic involvement at an early stage has the potential to considerably reduce the cost of treatment of back pain. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Backache chiropractic treatment en
dc.subject Medical care cost en
dc.subject Backache treatment en
dc.title Retrospective cost comparison of chiropractic versus medical treatment of back pain in a typical South African mechanised underground mining environment en
dc.type Thesis en

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