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Title: A clinical profile of geriatric patients at a chiropractic teaching clinic in KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Schirmer, Carissa Anja 
Keywords: Geriatrics;Chiropractic;Clinical profile;Musculoskeletal pain;Patient management
Issue Date: 2019
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the clinical characteristics of geriatric patients that presented to the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Chiropractic Day Clinic (CDC) between the clinic operational dates from the 18th of January 2010 to the 4th of December 2015.
Methods: A clinical profile of the clinical records pertaining to individuals who were 65 years of age and older, that frequented the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Chiropractic Day Clinic (CDC) between the 18th of January 2010 and the 4th of December
2015. Data recorded included patient demographics, lifestyle habits and blood pressure, presenting complaint and the nature thereof, medication use, presenting co-morbidities, further tests and patient management.
Results: Data from 397 clinical records was utilized. The majority of the patients were aged between 65 to 69 years with a mean age of 71.31 years (±5.43). More females (56.9%) presented to the DUT CDC in the sampling years, marriage (49.9%) was the most common form of union, and over two thirds of the patients stated that they were retired (63.0%). No history of smoking (73.8%) was the most reported smoking habit, and no history of alcohol consumption (64.5%). In terms of exercise habits, 38.8% did not participate in any form of exercise, over half of the patients reported normal sleeping patterns (56.6%), just over a quarter of the patients were reported as overweight (27.5%), and pre-hypertension (34.0%) was the most commonly documented blood pressure reading. The most common area of complaint reported was the low back (36.5%), with the majority stating that they were suffering with pain only, with an initial onset of pain over one year ago and having previously had x-ray examinations done. Patients consumed on average 3.35 medications, with most taking between three to five medications (43.1%). Anti-hypertensive, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and cholesterol lowering drugs were the most commonly consumed. The mean co-morbidities presented were hypertension, diabetes and headaches. Generally, the patients had three treatments (mean = 2.94). Soft tissue therapy, electro-modalities and mobilisation were the preferred treatment methods. X-rays were the preferred form of referral and stretching was the most prescribed continuation of care at home.
Conclusion: This is a clinical profile of the patients which presented at a chiropractic teaching clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Similarities to other local and international studies were noted, namely: females were the most documented gender, the most commonly presented areas of complaint were the low back and the cervical spine, the

patients generally suffered with chronic pain and multiple co-morbidities and consumed on average of three to five medications. To validate the findings of this study, follow-up studies should be conducted every five years.
Submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences in compliance with the requirements for the Master’s Degree in Technology: Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2019.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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