A study published in the April 15, 2005 scientific peer reviewed, "Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research " showed that the quality of life in a study population of homeless individuals was improved after the addition of chiropractic care. In this study, a small population of 10 homeless women at the Ellis Street Women's Shelter was reviewed for their overall health index both before and after the introduction of chiropractic care.
The health index was measured using the SF-36 Health Survey. The SF-36 Health Survey is a standardized health form that is used in research and health assessment. It measures such things as limitations in physical activities, limitations in social activities, bodily pain, energy and fatigue, and general health perceptions.
The results showed that the SF-36 scores of patients from the shelter increased in each of the various areas as well as showing an increase in the summary scores. Of most interest was that the vitality (VT) score of the participants improved an average of 22 points. The authors of the study did note that the scores for the participants were well below normal before the study began, and that although they did improve, they did not reach the level of the normal population.
The authors concluded that this study holds promise for the homeless population by saying, "The United States government is currently implementing a number of programs aimed at increasing the quality of life in disadvantaged populations with a view to eliminate health disparities. It appears that chiropractic care holds promise and merits further investigation as one means of enhancing the quality of life in the homeless population studied in this case series report.