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1.  Effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment on gastrointestinal function and length of stay of preterm infants: an exploratory study 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/2045-709X-19-15
PMCID: PMC3155103  PMID: 21711535
2.  Sociodemographic and geographic characteristics associated with patient visits to osteopathic physicians for primary care 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
Health care reform provides unprecedented opportunities for DOs to reach historically underserved populations and to overcome the "pediatric primary-care paradox."
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-303
PMCID: PMC3238348  PMID: 22053988
3.  OSTEOPAThic Health outcomes In Chronic low back pain: The OSTEOPATHIC Trial 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Conclusion
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.
Trial registration
, NCT00315120
doi:10.1186/1750-4732-2-5
PMCID: PMC2386783  PMID: 18439282
4.  Glycemic control and anti-osteopathic effect of propolis in diabetic rats 
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.
doi:10.2147/DMSO.S24159
PMCID: PMC3257965  PMID: 22253535
diabetes mellitus; osteopathy; streptozotocin; insulin
5.  Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-43
PMCID: PMC1208896  PMID: 16080794
6.  Testing the effectiveness of an innovative information package on practitioner reported behaviour and beliefs: The UK Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists Low back pain ManagemENT (COMPLeMENT) trial [ISRCTN77245761] 
Background
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.
Methods
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'.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-41
PMCID: PMC1208895  PMID: 16033646
7.  Learning outcomes from a biomedical research course for second year osteopathic medical students 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1750-4732-4-4
PMCID: PMC2914734  PMID: 20609258
8.  Osteopathic manipulative treatment for pneumonia 
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.
doi:10.1186/1750-4732-4-3
PMCID: PMC2845139  PMID: 20302620
9.  Osteopathic intervention in chronic non-specific low back pain: a systematic review 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-129
PMCID: PMC3623881  PMID: 23570655
Systematic review; Osteopathy; Osteopathic manipulative treatment; Low back pain; Chronic low back pain; Non-specific low back pain; Manual therapy; Clinical trial methodology
10.  Educating osteopaths to be researchers – what role should research methods and statistics have in an undergraduate curriculum? 
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.
doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2008.03.003
PMCID: PMC2574521  PMID: 19122835
osteopathy; osteopathic medicine; osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT); somatic dysfunction; low back pain; evidence-based medicine; evidence-based osteopathy; research methods; biostatistics
11.  Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment of Back Pain and Related Symptoms during Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
Objective:
To study osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) of back pain and related symptoms during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Study design:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusion:
Osteopathic manipulative treatment slows or halts the deterioration of back-specific functioning during the third trimester of pregnancy.
doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2009.07.057
PMCID: PMC2811218  PMID: 19766977
osteopathic manipulative treatment; pregnancy; back pain; physical functioning; randomized controlled trial
12.  A randomized control trial on the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment in reducing pain and improving the quality of life in elderly patients affected by osteoporosis 
Summary
Introduction
In the elderly population, a decrease in bone mineral density (osteoporosis) is often associated with a decrease in quality of life and an increase in self reported body pain. This pain originates from the musculoskeletal system and can potentially affect different areas of the body.
Aim
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on self reported pain and quality of life in an elderly population.
Design
Randomized placebo controlled trial.
Methods
Patients were recruited from the Geriatric Department, Bassini Hospital (Milan, Italy). Patients were randomly assigned to either 6 sessions of OMT (n = 37 patients) or an equivalent number of sham manipulative treatment (SMT) (n = 35 patients). The main outcome variables were QOL measured by QUALEFFO -41 and overall bodily pain measured using a visual analog scale (VAS). Data were analyzed using a two factor ANOVA (treatment × time) for repeated measurements with an α level set at p ≤ 0.05.
Results
Main result of this study was that OMT compared to SMT showed a significant decreased of disability. This effect was demonstrated by a significant interaction in the overall disability score (p =0.001) and the Mental wellbeing (p =0.058), Health perception (p =0.005) and Pain (p =0.003) QUALEFFO -41 subscales, while no significant difference (no interaction) for pain as measured by VAS and for the Daily activities, Walking, Household cleaning and Leisure time activities QUALEFFO -41 subscales (p > 0.05) was found. No adverse effects were recorded during the study.
Discussion
This study demonstrated that, in a group of elderly subjects affected by osteoporosis OMT was able to increase self reported QOL while the effect on body pain perception is unclear. This overall improvement in QOL appears to be caused by an improvement in psychological factors (i.e Mental wellbeing and Health perception) rather than physical factors. In fact, all QUALEFFO -41 subscales related to physical function demonstrated no significant interaction. The effect of OMT on Pain perception is less clear. In fact, there was no effect on pain as assessed by VAS while a significant improvement was observed when the QUALEFFO -41 subscale was used. This could be due to the metric properties of the two pain measurement methods; an alternative explanation could be that VAS measures mainly pain quantity while QUA-LEFFO -41 subscales measures mainly pain quality. The lack of effect of OMT on physical function needs to be confirmed by more direct measurements of this variable.
PMCID: PMC3535995  PMID: 23289034
osteoporosis; osteopathic treatment; quality of life; pain
13.  A comparison of patient visits to osteopathic and allopathic general and family medicine physicians: results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2003–2004 
Background
Osteopathic philosophy is consistent with an emphasis on primary care and suggests that osteopathic physicians may have distinctive ways of interacting with their patients.
Methods
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1750-4732-1-2
PMCID: PMC1805772  PMID: 17371578
14.  Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment 
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.
PMCID: PMC3486778  PMID: 23125887
15.  A randomized, controlled trial of osteopathic manipulative treatment for acute low back pain in active duty military personnel 
Objective
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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).
Conclusion
This study supports the effectiveness of OMT in reducing ALBP pain in active duty military personnel.
doi:10.1179/2042618611Y.0000000016
PMCID: PMC3267441  PMID: 23372389
Low back pain; Manual medicine; Manipulation
16.  Effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment in neonatal intensive care units: protocol for a multicentre randomised clinical trial 
BMJ Open  2013;3(2):e002187.
Introduction
Neonatal care has been considered as one of the first priorities for improving quality of life in children. In 2010, 10% of babies were born prematurely influencing national healthcare policies, economic action plans and political decisions. The use of complementary medicine has been applied to the care of newborns. One previous study documented the positive effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in reducing newborns’ length of stay (LOS). Aim of this multicentre randomised controlled trial is to examine the association between OMT and LOS across three neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
Methods and analysis
690 preterm infants will be recruited from three secondary and tertiary NICUs from north and central Italy and allocated into two groups, using permuted-block randomisation.
The two groups will receive standard medical care and OMT will be applied, twice a week, to the experimental group only. Outcome assessors will be blinded of study design and group allocation. The primary outcome is the mean difference in days between discharge and entry. Secondary outcomes are difference in daily weight gain, number of episodes of vomit, regurgitation, stooling, use of enema, time to full enteral feeding and NICU costs. Statistical analyses will take into account the intention-to-treat method. Missing data will be handled using last observation carried forward (LOCF) imputation technique.
Ethics and dissemination
Written informed consent will be obtained from parents or legal guardians at study enrolment. The trial has been approved by the ethical committee of Macerata hospital (n°22/int./CEI/27239) and it is under review by the other regional ethics committees.
Results
Dissemination of results from this trial will be through scientific medical journals and conferences.
Trial registration
This trial has been registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.org (identifier NCT01645137).
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002187
PMCID: PMC3586056  PMID: 23430598
Complementary Medicine; Paediatrics; Preventive Medicine
17.  Responding to the challenge of clinically relevant osteopathic research: efficacy and beyond 
The osteopathic profession has been challenged over the past decade to provide clinically relevant research. The conduct of evidence-based osteopathic research is imperative not only for scientific, economic, and professional reasons, but also to drive health care policy and clinical practice guidelines. This paper summarizes recent studies in response to the osteopathic research challenge, including clinical trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov and a systematic review and meta-analysis of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for low back pain. The concept of the OMT responder is introduced and supported with preliminary data. Within the context of a pain processing model, consideration is given to genomic (e.g., the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene) and psychological (e.g., depression and somatization) factors that are associated with pain sensitivity and pain progression, and to the role that such factors may play in screening for OMT responders. While substantial progress has been made in osteopathic research, much more needs to be done.
doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2007.01.002
PMCID: PMC2084062  PMID: 18311324
osteopathy; osteopathic medicine; osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT); low back pain; genomics; catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT); pain processing
18.  The relation of experience in osteopathic palpation and object identification 
Background
To determine whether osteopathic medical students, fellows, residents, and practicing physicians differ in their ability to identify inanimate objects and if these skills relate to palpatory experience.
Methods
Fifteen commonly known objects were fixed to a board and blinded with a cotton cloth. In Part I of testing, participants were asked to identify 9 objects, with choices provided. In Part II participants were asked to identify 6 objects using one word only. Part III consisted of identifying the shape of an object in Part II.
Results
Eighty-nine osteopathic medical students, fellows, residents, and practicing physicians participated in the study. Overall, correct identification of objects was higher in Part I with choices than in Part II without choices available. No statistically significant difference was found among osteopathic medical students, fellows, residents, and practicing physicians in the correct identification of the objects.
Conclusions
Accuracy in tactile identification of objects among varying levels of palpatory experience was not found. Correlation with clinical palpation cannot be made as it requires a subset of palpatory skills not tested in this study. Accuracy and measurement of palpation should be studied further to demonstrate if palpatory experience improves palpatory accuracy.
doi:10.1186/2045-709X-21-38
PMCID: PMC3843593  PMID: 24499607
Palpation; Experience; Osteopathy; Manual Medicine
19.  Spinal and sacroiliac assessment and treatment techniques used by osteopathic physicians in the United States 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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%).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1750-4732-3-4
PMCID: PMC2676310  PMID: 19366458
20.  Patients’ expectations of private osteopathic care in the UK: a national survey of patients 
Background
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.
Methods
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”.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-122
PMCID: PMC3679882  PMID: 23721054
Questionnaires; Survey; Expectations; Musculoskeletal manipulations; Osteopathic medicine
21.  Deformity or dysfunction? Osteopathic manipulation of the idiopathic cavus foot: A clinical suggestion. 
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.
PMCID: PMC2953346  PMID: 21509155
manipulation; cavus foot; midfoot
22.  No effect of osteopathic treatment on trunk morphology and spine flexibility in young women with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis 
Introduction
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1007/s11832-010-0258-6
PMCID: PMC2866846  PMID: 21629373
Osteopathy; Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Trunk morphology; Randomised trial
23.  A COMPARISON OF THE PATIENT DEMOGRAPHICS OF VICTORIAN CHIROPRACTIC AND OSTEOPATHIC CLINICS 
COMSIG review  1994;3(2):48-53.
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.
PMCID: PMC2050142
Patients; statistics and numerical dam demography; utilisation; chiropractic; osteopathy; databases
24.  THE JOURNAL OF THE CHIROPRACTIC & OSTEOPATHIC COLLEGE OF AUSTRALASIA 
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.
PMCID: PMC2050635  PMID: 17989763
Australasian Chiropractic Osteopathy; journal
25.  The provision of chiropractic, physiotherapy and osteopathic services within the Australian private health-care system: a report of recent trends 
Background
Chiropractors, physiotherapists, and osteopaths receive training in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal conditions. As a result there is considerable overlap in the types of conditions that are encountered clinically by these practitioners. In Australia, the majority of benefits paid for these services come from the private sector. The purpose of this article is to quantify and describe the development in service utilization and the cost of benefits paid to users of these healthcare services by private health insurers. An exploration of the factors that may have influenced the observed trends is also presented.
Methods
A review of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and the Australian Government Private Health Insurance Administration Council was conducted. An analysis of chiropractic, physiotherapy and osteopathic service utilisation and cost of service utilisation trend was performed along with the level of benefits and services over time.
Results
In 2012, the number of physiotherapists working in the private sector was 2.9 times larger than that of chiropractic, and 7.8 times that of the osteopathic profession. The total number of services provided by chiropractors, physiotherapists, and osteopaths increased steadily over the past 15 years. For the majority of this period, chiropractors provided more services than the other two professions. The average number of services provided by chiropractors was approximately two and a half times that of physiotherapists and four and a half times that of osteopaths.
Conclusions
This study highlights a clear disparity in the average number of services provided by chiropractors, physiotherapists, and osteopaths in the private sector in Australia over the last 15 years. Further research is required to explain these observed differences and to determine whether a similar trend exists in patients who do not have private health insurance cover.
doi:10.1186/2045-709X-22-3
PMCID: PMC3896731  PMID: 24428934
Chiropractic; Physiotherapy; Osteopathy; Allied health; Healthcare utilisation

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