Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is a distinctive modality commonly used by osteopathic physicians to complement their conventional treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Previous reviews and meta-analyses of spinal manipulation for low back pain have not specifically addressed OMT and generally have focused on spinal manipulation as an alternative to conventional treatment. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of OMT as a complementary treatment for low back pain.
Computerized bibliographic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, MANTIS, OSTMED, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were supplemented with additional database and manual searches of the literature.
Six trials, involving eight OMT vs control treatment comparisons, were included because they were randomized controlled trials of OMT that involved blinded assessment of low back pain in ambulatory settings. Data on trial methodology, OMT and control treatments, and low back pain outcomes were abstracted by two independent reviewers. Effect sizes were computed using Cohen's d statistic and meta-analysis results were weighted by the inverse variance of individual comparisons. In addition to the overall meta-analysis, stratified meta-analyses were performed according to control treatment, country where the trial was conducted, and duration of follow-up. Sensitivity analyses were performed for both the overall and stratified meta-analyses.
Overall, OMT significantly reduced low back pain (effect size, -0.30; 95% confidence interval, -0.47 – -0.13; P = .001). Stratified analyses demonstrated significant pain reductions in trials of OMT vs active treatment or placebo control and OMT vs no treatment control. There were significant pain reductions with OMT regardless of whether trials were performed in the United Kingdom or the United States. Significant pain reductions were also observed during short-, intermediate-, and long-term follow-up.
OMT significantly reduces low back pain. The level of pain reduction is greater than expected from placebo effects alone and persists for at least three months. Additional research is warranted to elucidate mechanistically how OMT exerts its effects, to determine if OMT benefits are long lasting, and to assess the cost-effectiveness of OMT as a complementary treatment for low back pain.
Health care reform promises to dramatically increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance. Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are recognized for primary care, including a "hands-on" style with an emphasis on patient-centered care. Thus, DOs may be well positioned to deliver primary care in this emerging health care environment.
We used data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2002-2006) to study sociodemographic and geographic characteristics associated with patient visits to DOs for primary care. Descriptive analyses were initially performed to derive national population estimates (NPEs) for overall patient visits, primary care patient visits, and patient visits according to specialty status. Osteopathic and allopathic physician (MD) patient visits were compared using cross-tabulations and multiple logistic regression to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for DO patient visits. The latter analyses were also conducted separately for each geographic characteristic to assess the potential for effect modification based on these factors.
Overall, 134,369 ambulatory medical care visits were surveyed, representing 4.6 billion (NPE) ± 220 million (SE) patient visits when patient visit weights were applied. Osteopathic physicians provided 336 million ± 30 million (7%) of these patient visits. Osteopathic physicians provided 217 million ± 21 million (10%) patient visits for primary care services; including 180 million ± 17 million (12%) primary care visits for adults (21 years of age or older) and 37 million ± 5 million (5%) primary care visits for minors. Osteopathic physicians were more likely than MDs to provide primary care visits in family and general medicine (OR, 6.03; 95% CI, 4.67-7.78), but were less likely to provide visits in internal medicine (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.24-0.58) or pediatrics (OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.11-0.40). Overall, patients in the pediatric and geriatric ages, Blacks, Hispanics, and persons in the South and West were less likely to utilize DOs, although there was some evidence of effect modification according to United States Census region.
Health care reform provides unprecedented opportunities for DOs to reach historically underserved populations and to overcome the "pediatric primary-care paradox."
Organizational improvement of neonatal intensive care units requires strict monitoring of preterm infants, including routine assessment of physiological functions of the gastrointestinal system and optimized procedures for the definition of appropriate discharge timing.
We conducted a prospective study on the effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment in a cohort of N = 350 consecutive premature infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit without any major complication between 2005 and 2008. In addition to ordinary care, N = 162 subjects received osteopathic treatment. Endpoints of the study were differences between study and control groups in terms of excessive length of stay and gastrointestinal symptoms, defined as the upper quartiles in the distribution of the overall population. Statistical analysis was based on crude and adjusted odds ratios from multivariate logistic regression.
Baseline characteristics were evenly distributed across treated/control groups, except for the rate of infants unable to be oral fed at admission, significantly higher among those undergoing osteopathic care (p = .03). Osteopathic treatment was significantly associated with a reduced risk of an average daily occurrence of gut symptoms per subject above .44 (OR = 0.45; 0.26-0.74). Gestational age lower or equal to 32 weeks, birth weight lower or equal to 1700 grams and no milk consumption at admission were associated with higher rates of length of stay in the unit of at least 28 days, while osteopathic treatment significantly reduced such risk (OR = 0.22;0.09-0.51).
In a population of premature infants, osteopathic manipulative treatment showed to reduce a high occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms and an excessive length of stay in the NICU. Randomized control studies are needed to generalize these results to a broad population of high risk newborns.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and ultrasound physical therapy (UPT) are commonly used for chronic low back pain. Although there is evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis that OMT generally reduces low back pain, there are no large clinical trials that specifically assess OMT efficacy in chronic low back pain. Similarly, there is a lack of evidence involving UPT for chronic low back pain.
The OSTEOPAThic Health outcomes In Chronic low back pain (OSTEOPATHIC) Trial is a Phase III randomized controlled trial that seeks to study 488 subjects between August 2006 and June 2010. It uses a 2 × 2 factorial design to independently assess the efficacy of OMT and UPT for chronic low back pain. The primary outcome is a visual analogue scale score for pain. Secondary outcomes include back-specific functioning, generic health, work disability, and satisfaction with back care.
This randomized controlled trial will potentially be the largest involving OMT. It will provide long awaited data on the efficacy of OMT and UPT for chronic low back pain.
The aim of the study was to explore the possibility that propolis can control diabetes mellitus and prevent diabetic osteopathy in rats. The study compared 60 streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, with ten nondiabetic rats used as a negative control. The experimental design comprised seven groups (n = 10 rats per group): (1) nondiabetic, used as a negative control; (2) nontreated, used as a positive control; (3) treated with insulin alone; (4) treated with a single dose of propolis alone; (5) treated with a double dose of propolis; (6) treated with insulin and a single dose of propolis; and (7) treated with insulin and a double dose of propolis. After 6 weeks of treatment, the rats were sacrificed. Ratios of femur ash to femur weight and of femur weight to body weight (FW/BW) were calculated and calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations in femur ash were estimated and analyzed. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), plasma insulin and glucagon, serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH), and calcitonin levels were also estimated and analyzed. There was significant reduction in FBG in all diabetic treated rats. Similarly, higher plasma insulin levels were observed in diabetic rats treated with propolis and insulin than in nontreated diabetic rats, although plasma insulin was not comparatively higher in diabetic rats treated with insulin alone. Serum TBARS was significantly lower in the propolis treated rats than the diabetic nontreated rats. No differences in PTH and calcitonin levels were observed among treatment groups. The FW/BW ratio was significantly higher in diabetic treated groups than in control groups. Furthermore, diabetic rats treated with propolis and insulin had significantly higher Ca, P, and Mg concentrations in femoral ash than nontreated diabetic rats and diabetic rats treated with insulin alone. In conclusion, propolis has a remarkable effect on glucose homeostasis and bone mineralization.
diabetes mellitus; osteopathy; streptozotocin; insulin
A ubiquitous dilemma in medical education continues to be whether and how to integrate research competencies into the predoctoral curriculum. Understanding research concepts is imbedded in the six core competencies for physicians, but predoctoral medical education typically does not explicitly include research education. In an effort to quickly report academic research findings to the field, this is the second in a series of articles reporting the outcomes of a research education initiative at one college of osteopathic medicine. The first article described the competency model and reported baseline performance in applied understanding of targeted research concepts. This second article reports on the learning outcomes from the inaugural year of a course in basic biomedical research concepts.
This course consisted of 24 total hours of classroom lectures augmented with web-based materials using Blackboard Vista, faculty moderated student presentations of research articles, and quizzes. To measure changes in applied understanding of targeted research concepts in the inaugural year of the course, we administered a pretest and a posttest to second year students who took the course and to first year students who took an informatics course in the same academic year.
We analyzed 154 matched pretests and posttests representing 56% of the 273 first and second year students. On average, the first year (53) and second year students (101) did not differ in their mean pretest scores. At posttest the second year students showed significant improvement in their applied understanding of the concepts, whereas the first year students' mean posttest score was lower than their mean pretest score.
This biomedical research course appears to have increased the second year students' applied understanding of the targeted biomedical research concepts. This assessment of learning outcomes has facilitated the quality improvement process for the course, and improved our understanding of how to measure the benefits of research education for medical students. Some of the course content and methods, and the outcome measures may need to be approached differently in the future to more effectively lay the foundation for osteopathic medical students to utilize these concepts in the clinical setting.
Osteopathic philosophy is consistent with an emphasis on primary care and suggests that osteopathic physicians may have distinctive ways of interacting with their patients.
The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) was used to derive national estimates of utilization of osteopathic general and family medicine physicians during 2003 and 2004 and to examine the patient characteristics and physician-patient interactions of these osteopathic physicians. All analyses were performed using complex samples software to appropriately weigh outcomes according to the multistage probability sample design used in NAMCS and multivariate modeling was used to control for potential confounders.
Results and discussion
When weighted according to the multistage probability sample design used, the 6939 patient visits studied represented an estimated 341.4 million patient visits to general and family medicine specialists in the United States, including 64.9 million (19%) visits to osteopathic physicians and 276.5 million (81%) visits to allopathic physicians. Osteopathic physicians were a major source of care in the Northeast (odds ratio [OR], 2.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.42–6.08), providing more than one-third of general and family medicine patient visits in this geographic region. Pediatric and young adult patients (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.45–0.91), Hispanics (OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.40–1.00), and non-Black racial minority groups (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.18–0.82) were less likely to visit osteopathic physicians. There were no significant differences between osteopathic and allopathic physicians with regard to the time spent with patients, provision of five common preventive medicine counseling services, or a focus on preventive care during office visits.
Osteopathic physicians are a major source of general and family medicine care in the United States, particularly in the Northeast. However, pediatric and young adult patients, Hispanics, and non-Black racial minorities underutilize osteopathic physicians. There is little evidence to support a distinctive approach to physician-patient interactions among osteopathic physicians in general and family medicine, particularly with regard to time spent with patients and preventive medicine services.
Low back pain (LBP) is a common and costly problem. Initiatives designed to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate healthcare for LBP include printed evidence-based clinical guidelines. The three professional groups of chiropractic, osteopathy and musculoskeletal physiotherapy in the UK share common ground with their approaches to managing LBP and are amongst those targeted by LBP guidelines. Even so, many seem unaware that such guidelines exist. Furthermore, the behaviour of at least some of these practitioners differs from that recommended in these guidelines.
Few randomised controlled trials evaluating printed information as an intervention to change practitioner behaviour have utilised a no-intervention control. All these trials have used a cluster design and most have methodological flaws. None specifically focus upon practitioner behaviour towards LBP patients. Studies that have investigated other strategies to change practitioner behaviour with LBP patients have produced conflicting results. Although numerous LBP guidelines have been developed worldwide, there is a paucity of data on whether their dissemination actually changes practitioner behaviour. Primarily because of its low unit cost, sending printed information to large numbers of practitioners is an attractive dissemination and implementation strategy. The effect size of such a strategy, at an individual practitioner level, is likely to be small. However, if large numbers of practitioners are targeted, this strategy might achieve meaningful changes at a population level.
The primary aim of this prospective, pragmatic randomised controlled trial is to test the short-term effectiveness (six-months following intervention) of a directly-posted information package on the reported clinical behaviour (primary outcome), attitudes and beliefs of UK chiropractors, osteopaths and musculoskeletal physiotherapists. We sought to randomly allocate a combined sample of 1,800 consenting practitioners to receive either the information package (intervention arm) or no information above that gained during normal practice (control arm). We collected questionnaire data at baseline and six-months post-intervention. The analysis of the primary outcome will assess between-arm differences of proportions of responses to questions on recommendations about activity, work and bed-rest, that fall within categories previously defined by an expert consensus exercise as either 'guideline-consistent' and 'guideline-inconsistent'.
Osteopathic manipulative medicine texts and educators advocate a range of approaches for physical assessment and treatment, but little is known about their use by osteopathic physicians in the United States.
A web-based survey using a 5-point Likert scale was developed and e-mailed to 777 practicing osteopathic physician members of the American Academy of Osteopathy. Responses in the "frequently" and "always" categories were combined for reporting purposes. Friedman tests were used to analyze the reported usage of each item. The effect of gender was analyzed using Mann-Whitney tests.
One hundred seventy-one osteopathic physicians completed the survey (22%). For the assessment of spinal somatic dysfunction, paraspinal tissue texture (98%), transverse process asymmetry (89%), and tenderness (85%) were most commonly reported. Myofascial release (78%), soft tissue technique (77%), and patient self-stretches (71%) were most commonly used for treatment of the spine. For assessment of pelvic landmark asymmetry, the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS, 87%), sacral base (82%), posterior superior iliac spine (81%), sacral sulci (78%), iliac crests (77%), and inferior lateral angle of the sacrum (74%) were commonly palpated. For assessment of sacroiliac joint motion, ASIS compression (68%) was most commonly used. Sacroiliac pain provocation tests were also employed although their use was less common than asymmetry or motion tests. Muscle energy (70%), myofascial release (67%), patient self-stretches (66%), osteopathy in the cranial field (59%), muscle strengthening exercises (58%), soft tissue technique (58%), and articulatory technique (53%) were most commonly used for treatment of the pelvis and sacroiliac. The effect of gender was significant for many of the treatment procedures, with females using more soft tissue and muscle energy and males more high-velocity techniques. The majority of respondents document the types of osteopathic manipulative techniques used (83%), document somatic dysfunction with Fryette nomenclature (64%), and bill for osteopathic manipulative treatment (92%).
Respondents reported the use of a broad range of assessment and treatment approaches. Results suggest a higher use of myofascial release and cranial technique and lower use of high-velocity techniques in this group of physicians compared to previous studies.
The first edition of the Journal of the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia was known as COMSIG Review and was published in November, 1992 to coincide with a large conference that COCA had organised in Melbourne.
In the first few years the majority of articles were magazine style reviews, similar to these found in the Australian Family Physician. The first Editor was Bruce Walker and subsequent Editors have included John Drinkwater, Stephanie Campbell and John Reggars. The current Editors in Chief, Peter Tuchin and Henry Pollard, are staff members at Macquarie University, Centre of Chiropractic, with a strong background in science and research and both are currently undertaking post-graduate research degrees.
Over several years the magazine review style was changed in keeping with a more full journal format. An Editorial Board was formed, comprised of chiropractors, osteopaths and medical practitioners, some of whom are world renowned in their particular field of research.
By March, 1996 it was decided to change the name of the journal to Australasian Chiropractic and Osteopathy (ACO). This was a purposeful move to reflect the maturing of the journal and also the growth of the College and in the five years since November 1992, seventy-nine scientific articles have been published.
It is anticipated that the journal will continue to be widely distributed throughout the world, with current subscriptions from all Australian undergraduate chiropractic and osteopathic institutions and the vast majority of international undergraduate institutions.
ACO is currently indexed with Mantis (formerly Chirolars). The Editorial Panel continue to strive for Australasian Chiropractic and Osteopathy inclusion into Index Medicus and thereby Medline. However, it is recognised that readership of chiropractic journals is very low throughout the world and it is unlikely in the near future that any chiropractic journal other than the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics will be included in Index Medicus.
The lack of mainstream international indexing will not stop or prevent the College from producing a first rate journal into the future years of the professions. In fact with the now steady growth in Australian chiropractic and osteopathic research, it is envisaged that ACO will be Australia's leading professional journal. We trust our membership enjoy reading the journal and find many of its articles instructional.
We look forward to any comments from members relating to the production of the journal and any suggestions will be welcomed.
Australasian Chiropractic Osteopathy; journal
The pneumonias due to infection continue to be a meaningful threat to the health and viability of persons, particularly those in high risk groups: children, the aged and the debilitated. Noll and colleagues provide us with the results of a well-designed and well-executed multi-institutional controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in the treatment of pneumonia. The data obtained indicate that by intention-to-treat analysis, the addition of OMT to conventional care did not improve the designated outcomes when compared to conventional care only. A disappointing but important finding. However, by per-protocol analysis, the addition of OMT or of light touch decreased length of hospital stay, the duration of intravenous antibiotics and the incidence of respiratory failure and death relative to conventional care only. Further study is called for to explain these surprising results.
Meeting the need for randomized clinical trials of the role and efficacy of OMT is a responsibility of high priority for the osteopathic profession in this age of evidence-based medicine. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) needs to consider reinstating a dues-generated financial set-aside both to increase its support of osteopathic research and to initiate a program of physician-investigator career development awards to recruit and help establish osteopathic clinical investigators in a career in translational and clinical research.
Chronic Non Specific Low Back Pain (CNSLBP) is a common, complex and disabling condition that has been present for longer than three months and is not caused by a serious pathology. Osteopaths are health practitioners who commonly diagnose and treat CNSLBP patients using a complex set of interventions that includes manual therapy. The study aimed to complete a Systematic Review of clinical research into osteopathic intervention in CNSLBP using a rigorous assessment of study quality.
The literature was searched to August 2011 using the following databases: AMED, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials, MEDLINE Plus, EMBASE, MANTIS, OSTMED, PEDro, ScienceDirect. Multiple search terms were used in various combinations: osteopathy/osteopathic, osteopathic manipulative technique, OMT, Spinal Manipulative Therapy, SMT, clinical trial, back pain, chronic back pain. The inclusion criteria were papers that: reported clinical trials; had adult participants; tested the effectiveness and/or efficacy of osteopathic manual therapy intervention applied by osteopaths, and had a study condition of CNSLBP. The quality of the papers was assessed using the Cochrane Back Review Risk of Bias criteria. A meta-analysis would proceed if the studies had adequate clinical and methodological homogeneity.
Initial searches revealed 809 papers, 772 of which were excluded on the basis of abstract alone. The remaining 37 trial papers were subjected to a more detailed analysis of the full text, which resulted in 35 being excluded. The two remaining trials had a lack of methodological and clinical homogeneity, precluding a meta-analysis. The trials used different comparators with regards to the primary outcomes, the number of treatments, the duration of treatment and the duration of follow-up.
There are only two studies assessing the effect of the manual therapy intervention applied by osteopathic clinicians in adults with CNSLBP. One trial concluded that the osteopathic intervention was similar in effect to a sham intervention, and the other suggests similarity of effect between osteopathic intervention, exercise and physiotherapy. Further clinical trials into this subject are required that have consistent and rigorous methods. These trials need to include an appropriate control and utilise an intervention that reflects actual practice.
Systematic review; Osteopathy; Osteopathic manipulative treatment; Low back pain; Chronic low back pain; Non-specific low back pain; Manual therapy; Clinical trial methodology
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) involves using research data to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders. Somatic dysfunction and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) are two unique aspects of osteopathy that will benefit from a greater emphasis on scientific evidence. Most evidence in osteopathy is based on expert opinions, case reports, case series, and observational studies. Only one systematic review of randomized controlled trials, involving OMT for low back pain, has been published. Although this study demonstrates the efficacy of OMT for low back pain, other clinical trials are needed to expand the evidence base in osteopathy. Undergraduate osteopathy curricula should ensure that students acquire the tools necessary to become knowledgeable consumers of the research and statistics presented in biomedical journals. Such curricula need to be supplemented with graduate training programs and research funding mechanisms to ensure that young osteopathic researchers are able to produce the research needed to practice and advance evidence-based osteopathy in the future.
osteopathy; osteopathic medicine; osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT); somatic dysfunction; low back pain; evidence-based medicine; evidence-based osteopathy; research methods; biostatistics
To study osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) of back pain and related symptoms during the third trimester of pregnancy.
A randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to compare usual obstetrical care (UOBC) and OMT (UOBC+OMT), UOBC and sham ultrasound treatment (UOBC+SUT), and UOBC only. Outcomes included average pain levels and the Roland Morris-Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) to assess back-specific functioning.
Intention-to-treat analyses included 144 subjects. The RMDQ scores worsened during pregnancy; however, back-specific functioning deteriorated significantly less in the UOBC+OMT group (effect size, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.31-1.14; P=.001 vs. UOBC only; and effect size, 0.35; 95% CI, −0.06-0.76; P=.09 vs. UOBC+SUT). During pregnancy, back pain decreased in the UOBC+OMT group, remained unchanged in the UOBC+SUT group, and increased in the UOBC only group, although no between-group difference achieved statistical significance.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment slows or halts the deterioration of back-specific functioning during the third trimester of pregnancy.
osteopathic manipulative treatment; pregnancy; back pain; physical functioning; randomized controlled trial
Dermatological diseases, such as dysesthesia syndromes, stasis dermatoses, and hyperhidrosis are difficult to treat due to their complex etiologies. Current theories suggest these diseases are caused by physiological imbalances, such as nerve impingement, localized tissue congestion, and impaired autonomic regulation. Osteopathic manipulative therapy targets these physiological dysfunctions and may serve as a beneficial therapeutic option. Osteopathic manipulative therapy techniques include high velocity low amplitude, muscle energy, counterstrain, myofascial release, craniosacral, and lymphatic drainage. An osteopathic manipulative therapy technique is chosen based on its physiological target for a particular disease. Osteopathic manipulative therapy may be useful alone or in combination with standard therapeutic options. However, due to the lack of standardized trials supporting the efficacy of osteopathic manipulative therapy treatment for dermatological disease, randomized, well-controlled studies are necessary to confirm its therapeutic value.
Acute low back pain (ALBP) may limit mobility and impose functional limitations in active duty military personnel. Although some manual therapies have been reported effective for ALBP in military personnel, there have been no published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in the military. Furthermore, current military ALBP guidelines do not specifically include OMT.
This RCT examined the efficacy of OMT in relieving ALBP and improving functioning in military personnel at Fort Lewis, Washington. Sixty-three male and female soldiers ages 18 to 35 were randomly assigned to a group receiving OMT plus usual care or a group receiving usual care only (UCO).
The primary outcome measures were pain on the quadruple visual analog scale, and functioning on the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire. Outcomes were measured immediately preceding each of four treatment sessions and at four weeks post-trial. Intention to treat analysis found significantly greater post-trial improvement in ‘Pain Now’ for OMT compared to UCO (P = 0·026). Furthermore, the OMT group reported less ‘Pain Now’ and ‘Pain Typical’ at all visits (P = 0·025 and P = 0·020 respectively). Osteopathic manipulative treatment subjects also tended to achieve a clinically meaningful improvement from baseline on ‘Pain at Best’ sooner than the UCO subjects. With similar baseline expectations, OMT subjects reported significantly greater satisfaction with treatment and overall self-reported improvement (P<0·01).
This study supports the effectiveness of OMT in reducing ALBP pain in active duty military personnel.
Low back pain; Manual medicine; Manipulation
This paper is one part of a continuing study to determine the availability of library service to physicians in southeastern Michigan not associated with academic institutions. The institutional affiliations of the 800 osteopathic physician community of the area were identified. As the availability of library service at these institutions was known, the conclusion is patent that 60 percent of these physicians do not have dependable access to the library resources of the area. Further, it is apparent from the way the institutions are distributed and the responsibilities physicians have, that the only hope of providing library service to the practicing physician is through hospitals.
Musculoskeletal conditions, such as low back pain, are prevalent in the United States. These conditions exact an enormous toll on society, both in terms of their detrimental impact on quality of life and on the costs of treatment and lost productivity. Osteopathic physicians, as common providers of primary care services and spinal manipulation, are ideally positioned to lead future research efforts in this field. The emergence of data and standards relevant to osteopathic manipulative treatment outcomes, refinement of research methodologies to enhance evidence-based medicine, and investments in developing osteopathic research infrastructure are all critical elements in moving this field of research forward.
Patients’ expectations of osteopathic care have been little researched. The aim of this study was to quantify the most important expectations of patients in private UK osteopathic practices, and the extent to which those expectations were met or unmet.
The study involved development and application of a questionnaire about patients’ expectations of osteopathic care. The questionnaire drew on an extensive review of the literature and the findings of a prior qualitative study involving focus groups exploring the expectations of osteopathic patients. A questionnaire survey of osteopathic patients in the UK was then conducted. Patients were recruited from a random sample of 800 registered osteopaths in private practice across the UK. Patients were asked to complete the questionnaire which asked about 51 aspects of expectation, and post it to the researchers for analysis.
The main outcome measures were the patients-perceived level of expectation as assessed by the percentage of positive responses for each aspect of expectation, and unmet expectation as computed from the proportion responding that their expectation “did not happen”.
1649 sets of patient data were included in the analysis. Thirty five (69%) of the 51 aspects of expectation were prevalent, with listening, respect and information-giving ranking highest. Only 11 expectations were unmet, the most often unmet were to be made aware that there was a complaints procedure, to find it difficult to pay for osteopathic treatment, and perceiving a lack of communication between the osteopath and their GP.
The findings reflected the complexity of providing osteopathic care and meeting patients’ expectations. The results provided a generally positive message about private osteopathic practice. The study identified certain gaps between expectations and delivery of care, which can be used to improve the quality of care. The questionnaire is a resource for future research.
Questionnaires; Survey; Expectations; Musculoskeletal manipulations; Osteopathic medicine
Observed gait abnormalities are often related to a variety of foot deformities such as the cavus foot, also known as pes cavus, cavovarus, uncompensated varus, and the high arched foot. When gait abnormalities related to cavus foot deformities produce symptoms or contribute to dysfunctional movement of the lower extremity, foot orthotics are commonly used to accommodate the deformity and optimize the function of the lower extremity. In more severe cases, surgical intervention is common. Hypomobility of the many joints of the foot and ankle may be mistaken as an idiopathic cavus foot deformity. As for any other limb segment suspected of musculoskeletal dysfunction, it is suggested that joint mobility testing and mobilization, if indicated, be attempted on the foot and ankle joints before assuming the presence of a bony cavus deformity. The purpose of this clinical suggestion is to describe the use of osteopathic manipulations of the foot and ankle in the context of an illustrative case of bilateral idiopathic cavus feet to demonstrate that apparent foot deformities may actually be joint hypomobility dysfunctions.
manipulation; cavus foot; midfoot
Brace treatment is the gold standard for patients with mild adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (Cobb angle 20°–40°). However, negative psychosocial impacts, physical constraints and incompliance cause many patients and parents to seek for so-called holistic and apparently less harmful approaches within the field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Osteopathy—manual interventions on the viscera and locomotor system—is widely used for scoliosis. There is, however, a complete lack of evidence regarding its efficacy. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that osteopathy alters trunk morphology, a prerequisite to unload the concave side of the scoliosis, and that it halts curve progression.
This was a prospective, controlled trial of 20 post-pubertal young women (20°–40° idiopathic scoliosis) randomly allocated to an observation (group 0) or osteopathic treatment (group 1). The latter comprised three sessions (5 weeks). Trunk morphology (clinical examination, video rasterstereography) and spine flexibility (MediMouse®) were assessed at a pre- and post-intervention with a 3-month interval (blinded examiner). We chose scoliometer measurement (rib hump, lumbar prominence) as the main outcome parameter.
Two patients in the treatment group refused further treatment and the final examination, as they felt no benefit after two osteopathic treatments. Regression analysis for repeat measurements (independent statistician) revealed no therapeutic effect on rib hump, lumbar prominence, plumb line, sagittal profile and global spinal flexibility.
We found no evidence to support osteopathy in the treatment of mild adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Therefore, we caution against abandoning the conventional standard of care for mild idiopathic scoliosis. As for other CAM therapies, the use of osteopathy as a treatment option for scoliosis still needs to be clearly defined.
Osteopathy; Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Trunk morphology; Randomised trial
While there are studies that describe the patient demographics of both Australian and American chiropractic clinics, such information appears difficult to find for physiotherapy or osteopathic clinics comparative data of any kind doesn't appear to exist. This study attempted to provide this data for Australian practices and to analyse any similarities or differences between populations.
Results obtained for chiropractors and osteopaths would appear to suggest that there may be significant differences between the diagnostic profiles of the two professions. Physiotherapists withdrew from the - process during data collection.
Suggestions are made relating to possible modifications I to the survey instrument and possible directions any future study might take.
Patients; statistics and numerical dam demography; utilisation; chiropractic; osteopathy; databases
The growth and acceptance of osteopathic physicians as conventional medical practitioners in the United States has also raised questions about the distinctive aspects of osteopathic medicine. Although the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and a focus on primary care are most often cited as rationales for the uniqueness of osteopathic medicine, an osteopathic professional identity remains enigmatic.
The fledgling basic osteopathic research efforts of the early and mid-twentieth century have not been sustained and expanded over time. Thus, there is presently a scarcity of basic mechanistic and translational research that can be considered to be uniquely osteopathic. To be sure, there have been advances in osteopathic clinical trials, particularly those involving OMT for low back pain. Meta-analysis of these low back pain trials has provided evidence that: (1) OMT affords greater pain reduction than active or placebo control treatments; (2) the effects of OMT are comparable regardless of whether treatment is provided by fully-licensed osteopathic physicians in the United States or by osteopaths in the United Kingdom; and (3) the effects of OMT increase over time. However, much more clinical research remains to be done. The planning and implementation of a large longitudinal study of the natural history and epidemiology of somatic dysfunction, including an OMT component, represents a much-needed step forward. Osteopathic medicine's use of OMT and its focus on primary care are not mutually exclusive aspects of its uniqueness. The intersection of these fundamental aspects of osteopathic medicine suggests that the profession may successfully adopt a generic strategy of "focused differentiation" to attain a competitive advantage in the health care arena. While there are both requisite demands and risks for the osteopathic profession in adopting such a strategy, these are reasonable in relation to the potential rewards to be attained. To help promote an osteopathic identity, "omtology" and its derivative terms are recommended in referring to the study of OMT.
The osteopathic profession should adopt a coherent strategy for developing and promoting its identity. Failure to do so will likely ensure that osteopathic medicine remains "stuck in the middle."
Avian influenza is an infection caused by the H5N1 virus. The infection is highly contagious among birds, and only a few known cases of human avian influenza have been documented. However, healthcare experts around the world are concerned that mutation or genetic exchange with more commonly transmitted human influenza viruses could result in a pandemic of avian influenza. Their concern remains in spite of the fact that the first United States vaccine against the H5N1 virus was recently approved. Under these circumstances the fear is that a pandemic of avian influenza could result in the kind of mortality that was seen with the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918–1919, where the number of deaths was estimated to be as high as 40 million people.
Retrospective data gathered by the American Osteopathic Association shortly after the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic have suggested that osteopathic physicians (DOs), using their distinctive osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) methods, observed significantly lower morbidity and mortality among their patients as compared to those treated by allopathic physicians (MDs) with standard medical care available at the time. In light of the limited prevention and treatment options available, it seems logical that a preparedness plan for the treatment of avian influenza should include these OMT procedures, provided by DOs and other healthcare workers capable of being trained to perform these therapeutic interventions. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the characteristics of avian influenza, describe the success of DOs during the 1918–1919 Spanish influenza pandemic, describe the evidence base for the inclusion of OMT as part of the preparedness plan for the treatment of avian influenza, and describe some of the specific OMT procedures that could be utilized as part of the treatment protocol for avian influenza patients.
SNOMED CT® is a controlled medical terminology which has been licensed by the National
Library of Medicine and recommended as the general terminology of
choice by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics for
the development of the electronic medical record1. Osteopathic terminology is unique to Osteopathic practitioners and must
be included in any terminology if the terminology is to meet the needs
of the Osteopathic community. The Authorized Osteopathic Thesaurus
was used as a resource and compared with the content of SNOMED CT. It
was found that a large number of concepts which were of importance in
documenting Osteopathic encounters were not included in SNOMED CT. The
decision was made to integrate this content into SNOMED CT.