Practitioner Information – Communicating Benefit and Risk in Osteopathy


The General Osteopathic Council commissioned four research projects to investigate adverse events associated with osteopathic practice; this web resource aims to help osteopaths use the findings from these studies in clinical practice to provide better patient care and develop confidence and competence in discussing benefit and risk with patients.1,2,3,4

This resource is very much a work in progress and although we hope you will find it useful as it is, we are keen to receive feedback from the osteopathic profession. If you have any feedback please contact us via the contact form on this website.


This online resource is split into the following sections:



It can be difficult to introduce the topic of risk into the clinical setting. Some examples of conversations are given on some of the pages as an example of how to begin these discussions; they are designed to allow you to modify them for your own clinical setting and patient population.



1. Carnes D, Mars T, Mullinger B, Underwood M. Adverse events in manual therapy: a systematic review. 2009. Available at:


2. Leach J, Mandy A, Hankins M, Ives R, Cross V, Cage M, Lucas K. Communicating risks of treatment and informed consent in osteopathic practice: A literature review and pilot focus groups. 2011.

Available at:


3. Leach J, Fiske A, Mullinger B, Ives R, Mandy A. Complaints and claims against osteopaths: a baseline study of the frequency of complaints 2004–2008 and a qualitative exploration of patients’ complaints. 2011.

Available at:


4. Vogel S, Mars T, Keeping S, Barton T, Marlin N, Froud R, Eldridge S, Underwood M, Pincus T. Clinical Risk Osteopathy and Management Scientific Report: The CROaM Study. 2013.  Available at

Back to the top