In Sweden, chiropractic is not included in mainstream health care. In Norway chiropractic is a recognized health care profession. The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of chiropractic among Swedish and Norwegian General Practitioners (GPs).
Eight hundred surveys in each country were distributed randomly by post to Swedish and Norwegian GPs offices. The survey contained two main sections: Experiences and opinions about chiropractic and referral patterns. The data were then described and compared between the countries.
In Sweden the response rate was 44.8% and in Norway 45.3%. More than half of the Swedish GPs participating in this study stated that they had poor knowledge about chiropractic, while just a tenth of Norwegian GPs stated the same. Nearly all Norwegian GPs had some experience of chiropractic treatment whilst a fairly large number of the Swedish GPs said that they had no experience at all of chiropractic. It was twice as common for GPs in Norway to refer patients to a chiropractor as compared to Sweden. However, Swedish and Norwegian GPs agreed that chiropractors were competent to treat musculo-skeletal conditions with an adequate education to be part of mainstream medicine.
Swedish and Norwegian GPs agree that chiropractors are competent to treat musculoskeletal conditions. However, there are many differences in GPs perceptions of chiropractic between the two countries and the overall picture indicates that chiropractic is more accepted and recognised as a health care profession in Norway.