Chiropractic in the Netherlands: A survey of Dutch chiropractors

W. J.J. Assendelft*, C. E. Pfeifle, L. M. Bouter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: In the Netherlands, there is increasing public and political interest in chiropractic treatment. There is, however, very little descriptive information available in the Netherlands on the chiropractic profession. Therefore, a survey was conducted among all Dutch chiropractors. Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all members of the Netherlands' Chiropractors Association (n = 59). It contained questions on (postgraduate) education, practice management, diagnostics (including radiology use), treatment, interprofessional cooperation and referral. Results: The response was 88%. Chiropractic is growing rapidly: the number of chiropractors has doubled in five years. Chiropractors primarily treat back and neck pain, with an average of 8 treatments. Conventional orthopedic and neurological examination along with motion palpation are the cornerstones of physical examination. The respondents stressed the importance of direct access to radiography and specialized (hospital) diagnostics. Fifty-eight percent of the chiropractors have their own X-ray equipment. The most frequent reason for taking new X-rays was the absence of cooperation with radiology departments. Self-referral is the largest source of patients. The referral rate to other health care professionals is low. Conclusions: The number of chiropractors is growing rapidly. They have an exceptional position in the Dutch health care system. Access to X-ray and more specialized diagnostics are presently the most important political issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiropractic
  • Netherlands
  • Survey Methods


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