Osteopathic practice in the United Kingdom: A retrospective analysis of practice data

Plunkett, A, Fawkes, C and Carnes, D (2022) Osteopathic practice in the United Kingdom: A retrospective analysis of practice data. Plos One, 17 (7). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract Background This study describes osteopathic practise activity, scope of practice and the osteopathic patient profile in order to understand the role osteopathy plays within the United Kingdom’s (UK) health system a decade after our previous survey. Method We used a retrospective questionnaire survey design to ask about osteopathic practice and audit patient case notes. All UK registered osteopaths were invited to participate in the survey. The survey was conducted using a web-based system. Each participating osteopath was asked about themselves, their practice and asked to randomly select and extract data from up to 8 random new patient health records during 2018. All patient related data were anonymised. Results The survey response rate was 500 osteopaths (9.4% of the profession) who provided information about 395 patients and 2,215 consultations. Most osteopaths were self-employed (81.1%; 344/424 responses) working alone either exclusively or often (63.9%; 237/371) and were able to offer 48.6% of patients an appointment within 3 days (184/379). Patient ages ranged from 1 month to 96 years (mean 44.7 years, Std Dev. 21.5), of these 58.4% (227/389) were female. Infants <1 years old represented 4.8% (18/379) of patients. The majority of patients presented with musculoskeletal complaints (81.0%; 306/378). Persistent complaints (present for more than 12 weeks before appointment) were the most common (67.9%; 256/377) and 41.7% (156/374) of patients had co-existing medical conditions. The most common treatment approaches used at the first appointment were soft-tissue techniques (73.9%; 292/395), articulatory techniques (69.4%; 274/395) and high velocity low amplitude thrust (34.4%; 136/395). The mean number of treatments per patient was 7 (mode 4). Conclusion Osteopaths predominantly provide care of musculoskeletal conditions, typically in private practice. To better understand the role of osteopathy in UK health service delivery, the profession needs to do more research with patients in order to understand their needs and their expected outcomes of care, and for this to inform osteopathic practice and education.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Wahida Jebi
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2022 14:29
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2022 10:53
URI: https://uco.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/171

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