The General Osteopathic Council, regulator of osteopathy in the United Kingdom, commissioned four research projects to investigate adverse events associated with osteopathic practice. Information concerning the original call for proposals can be found here (pdf 38Kb).
Study 1: Adverse events associated with physical interventions in osteopathy and relevant manual therapies
This study is a systematic review of published literature to investigate the risks associated with manual therapy. The literature searches were carried out during March 2008.
The project was carried out by Dr Dawn Carnes (Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London) in collaboration with Mrs Brenda Mullinger (European School of Osteopathy) and Professor Martin Underwood University of Warwick Medical School).
In addition to the published report of this research above, two articles based on the review were published in the journal Manual Therapy, and republished in the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, September 2010. They are available here by kind permission of Elsevier and can be downloaded below.
A powerpoint presentation on this study can be viewed here.
Study 2: Communicating risk and obtaining consent in osteopathic practice
This study aimed to provide guidance to osteopaths regarding communicating with patients about any risks associated with osteopathic treatment.
Following a comprehensive literature review some information material on risks and benefits in osteopathic practice was drafted and piloted in two focus groups of osteopaths and osteopathic patients.
The final report of the results from the focus group pilots can be read here and each chapter concludes with key messages for osteopaths:
The research team was led by Dr Janine Leach (University of Brighton) and also included Dr Anne Mandy (University of Brighton), Matthew Hankins (Brighton and Sussex Medical School), Rachel Ives (College of Osteopaths), Vinette Cross, Mark Cage, Kevin Lucas.
Study 3: Insurance claim trends and patient complaints to the profession’s regulator
This study explored the nature and frequency of complaints made about osteopaths and insurance claims made against them:
The research team was led by Dr Janine Leach and also included Adam Fiske, Dr Anne Mandy, Professor Elizabeth West, Brenda Mullinger and Rachel Ives.
Recommendations resulting from the study include ways to reduce the frequency of complaints and to help ensure that patients feel supported if they do make a complaint.
A Powerpoint presentation on this study can be viewed here.
Study 4: Investigating osteopaths’ attitudes to managing and assessing risk in clinical settings and patients’ experiences and responses to osteopathic treatment
The research team was led by Steven Vogel and also included Thomas Mars, S Keeping, T Barton, Nadine Marlin, Dr Rob Froud, Dr Sandra Eldridge, Professor Martin Underwood and Professor Tamar Pincus.
This study has now been completed and you can read the summary report and full report here: