Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Physical Therapy against Chiropractic for Patients with Acute Low Back Pain

Version 1 : Received: 14 January 2019 / Approved: 21 December 2019 / Online: 21 December 2019 (12:12:58 CET)

How to cite: Khodakarami, N. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Physical Therapy against Chiropractic for Patients with Acute Low Back Pain. Preprints 2019, 2019120283 Khodakarami, N. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Physical Therapy against Chiropractic for Patients with Acute Low Back Pain. Preprints 2019, 2019120283

Abstract

Patients with low back pain (LBP) may bear high health care charges during their treatments including surgery, injections, visits to specialist and emergency department. However, they may reduce utilization of these expensive health services by visiting physical therapists or chiropractors in the earlier stages of their LBP. Yet, the choice between physiotherapy and chiropractic depends on their cost-effectiveness. In this regard, prior studies of acute low back pain have found mixed results, which calls for further research in this issue. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess the cost-effectiveness of physical therapy versus chiropractic for patients in the US with at least 3 weeks of low back pain. In line with this, the seminal works arguing the cost and effectiveness of physical therapy and chiropractic in low back pain in Medline and Google Scholar database were reviewed. For finding the cost, the costs at the time of treatment and the follow-up costs within 6 months from the initial visit were queried. Search for the treatment costs was limited to the studies that were undertaken in the United States and reported their outcome in the US dollar value. Search for the results in health state utilities gained after the treatment was all inclusive. After examining the effects and costs for the patients who have received physical therapy or chiropractic, and using a decision tree to determine the benefits to any of these treatments with regard to their cost and in comparison to their treatments, this study found that chiropractic care is a more cost-effective alternative for the patients with low back pain.

Subject Areas

cost-effectiveness analysis; decision tree; low back pain; chiropractic; physical therapy

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