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Chiropractic Observation and Analysis Study (COAST): providing an understanding of current chiropractic practice

There are about 4400 registered practising chiropractors in Australia,1 making chiropractic the eighth largest registered health profession (out of 10).2 During 2005, 16% of Australians, over 3 million people, consulted a chiropractor at least once3 at an out-of-pocket cost of $905 million.4

Despite the large number of people who receive chiropractic care, very little is known about why people seek this care and what care chiropractors provide. With the increased attention, and criticism, directed at the chiropractic profession, it is important to have reliable up-to-date information about what is actually happening in chiropractic clinical practice.5

Previous attempts to document this practice in Australia are now outdated.613 Worldwide, systematic approaches to gathering information about chiropractic practice have been limited by study design, including chart abstraction, patient recall surveys, practitioner recall surveys and reviews…