Educating osteopaths to be researchers - what role should research methods and statistics have in an undergraduate curriculum?

Professor and Executive Director of the Osteopathic Research Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA.
International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.58). 02/2008; 11(2):62-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijosm.2008.03.003
Source: PubMed

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.

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    ABSTRACT: Osteopathic medicine is a profession that has existed for more than 130 years. However, the profession is poorly understood by many health care professionals. This article introduces osteopathic medicine, including similarities and differences between osteopathic physicians (DOs) and allopathic physicians (MDs). It describes osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), including the risks and many of the challenges faced while doing clinical research on OMT. Finally, the article reviews the research that has evaluated the effect of OMT on various medical conditions, including musculoskeletal, neurologic, respiratory, obstetric, gynecologic, and pediatric conditions.
    Primary care 03/2010; 37(1):49-64. · 0.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Many osteopathic educational institutions (OEIs) require students to complete research projects, which normally involve external assurance of academic standards. Different academic factors can lead to tension between teaching approaches and attitudes to criticality as a necessary competency for effective practice in evidence-informed healthcare. Lack of clarity about different purposes of student research can lead to varying interpretations of assessment criteria and inconsistent marking. Objective A new card sorting was designed to enable analysis of opinions about appropriate standards of criticality in student research reports. Methods Data was obtained from a convenience sample (n = 50) of participants attending four conference workshops. Participants read an abstract from a hypothetical student project and sorted cards containing project extracts into ‘unacceptable’, ‘acceptable’ or ‘good’ examples of criticality and recorded scores on marking grids. Results Scores demonstrated poor inter-rater agreement (kappa < 0.20), especially for cards expected to show ‘acceptable’ levels of criticality, although participants in one workshop achieved ‘fair’ levels of agreement (κ = 0.22–0.39). Conclusions The workshops promoted discussion about the challenges of encouraging students to question underlying osteopathic principles but there was poor inter-rater agreement about appropriate levels of criticality. Heterogeneous workshop groups and anonymised data meant that differences between OEIs and confounding factors such as linguistic variables and levels of experience could not be assessed. Further studies should explore different pedagogical approaches and assessment values to address inequalities in assessments, develop agreed standards for academic practice, enhance research education outcomes and support the long term development of a credible evidence base for osteopathic practice.
    International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 06/2013; · 0.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper is offered as an introduction to qualitative research, with the hope that it informs and stimulates osteopaths and researchers who are unfamiliar with this area of research. This paper discusses the potential contribution of qualitative research in exploring the complex and multiple aspects of osteopathy and how the findings of qualitative studies may contribute to the knowledge base of osteopathy. A definition of qualitative research is provided, and a number of different methodologies are discussed. Finally it suggests examples of how the findings of qualitative research could potentially help inform osteopathic practice.
    International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 01/2011; 14(3):116-124. · 0.58 Impact Factor


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