The patient experience of osteopathic healthcare
Orrock, PJ 2016, 'The patient experience of osteopathic healthcare', Manual Therapy, vol. 22, pp. 131-137.
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Osteopathy in Australia is a primary care limited scope practice. Practitioner surveys suggest that patients present with chronic pain and receive manual therapies, exercise and lifestyle advice. Further research is required to deepen the understanding of this intervention from the perspective of patients.
To explore the experience of patients receiving osteopathic healthcare.
A quantitative survey of a convenience sample of patients was followed by qualitative semi-structured interviews in a purposive sample of respondents with chronic non-specific low back pain. The transcripts were analysed using a phenomenological approach.
The survey results suggested directions of enquiry for the interviews. Eleven subjects were interviewed and reported commonalities in their clinical histories with multisystem co-morbidities. Four themes became apparent: patient decision-making, patient shared experiences of the osteopathic healthcare consultation, tailored patient-centred care, and therapeutic relationship in healthcare.
This data suggests that patients experience osteopathic healthcare after trying other disciplines; that there are shared aspects of the consultations, with a thorough assessment, education about their condition, multiple manual therapies and lifestyle advice; that the experience is patient-centred and tailored to their context; and that the therapeutic relationship is a key aspect of the experience. These results reflect a number of aspects of osteopathic healthcare from workplace surveys.