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Kids Follow Parents in Using Chiropractic and Alternative Care

The April 5, 2004 issue of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reports on a study from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis that shows that children and teens are more likely to use what the researchers called "complementary and alternative medicine" if their parents also use these procedures. Although chiropractic was included in this study as one of the "complementary and alternative" procedures, many authors no longer list chiropractic as an alternative as it has been considered more main stream.

The AJC article notes that a previous study in 1997 found that 42 percent of American adults reported the use of these types of procedures, and the rates were increasing. However, they noted that there's been little information on the popularity of these treatments among children and teens until this most recent study.

Researchers at Metropolitan State University looked at data from insurance claims from two large private health insurers in Washington state in the year 2002. The researchers found that of the187,000 insured children, nearly 157,000 were listed on insurance claims. The researchers observed that a little over 6 percent of the children had visited a complementary or alternative professional during that year.

The study authors wrote, "Not surprisingly, the most significant factor that determined whether a pediatric patient would use complementary or alternative medicine is whether an adult in the family used it." In fact the researchers noted that the largest reason by far that children used these services including chiropractic was if their parents were using these services.