Educating osteopaths to be researchers - what role should research methods and statistics have in an undergraduate curriculum?
ABSTRACT 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.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Musculoskeletal conditions, such as low back pain, are prevalent in the United States. These conditions exact an enormous toll on society, both in terms of their detrimental impact on quality of life and on the costs of treatment and lost productivity. Osteopathic physicians, as common providers of primary care services and spinal manipulation, are ideally positioned to lead future research efforts in this field. The emergence of data and standards relevant to osteopathic manipulative treatment outcomes, refinement of research methodologies to enhance evidence-based medicine, and investments in developing osteopathic research infrastructure are all critical elements in moving this field of research forward.Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care 08/2009; 3:6.