The National Osteopathic Research Center at the University of North Texas Health Science Center: Inception, Growth, and Future

Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, USA.
Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges (Impact Factor: 2.93). 07/2009; 84(6):737-43. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181a43c19
Source: PubMed


The osteopathic profession has long recognized the need to carry out research in order to improve clinical care. Osteopathic physicians have a particular obligation to carry out research in areas, such as osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), that are unique to osteopathic medicine. OMM is similar to manual therapy that is performed by other types of practitioners, but it has some distinctive characteristics. Osteopathic doctors also use OMM to treat infectious disease-not just musculoskeletal disorders.In 2001, several osteopathic professional organizations agreed to jointly fund a national osteopathic research center at one of the osteopathic medical colleges. Five osteopathic colleges submitted research proposals in response to a request for applications. The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) was chosen to be the site for the Osteopathic Research Center (ORC) and was funded for four years with $1.1M. Between 2002 and 2007, the ORC received an additional $11M in research support from multiple sources including federal funds. With this support, it has made substantive contributions to science. These include oversight of the recently completed four-year, $1.5M multicenter study on the efficacy of OMM as a treatment for pneumonia in the elderly and a three-year, $1.9M National Institutes of Health-funded developmental research center to perform mechanistic studies of some OMM actions.The authors discuss the long-term costs, benefits, and sustainability of the national ORC at UNTHSC in the contexts of research accomplished, the training of new medical osteopathic researchers, and an effort to develop other successful regional osteopathic research centers.

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    ABSTRACT: Research is a vital component of a college of osteopathic medicine (COM) portfolio. Previous studies have described research activity at COMs from 1989 through 2004 using data from surveys of COM administrators conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). However, these studies had limitations. To address the limitations of previous studies and to provide more depth of understanding regarding research activity at COMs by (1) documenting changes in research funding at COMs from 2004 to 2009 according to the funding agencies, principal investigators' degrees, and areas of study after considering inflation and (2) examining predictors of research funding at COMs. Information about 2004 and 2009 active research grants and contracts, research expenditures, and COM characteristics was obtained from AACOM databases. Descriptive statistics are presented for 20 COMs that completed the survey in both years. The 2004 dollar values were adjusted for the rate of inflation (13.57%). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to explore associations between school characteristics (eg, number of faculty), research expenditures, and research funding outcomes (total amount and number of awards) for all COMs completing the survey in 2009 (n=26). From 2004 to 2009, the total amount of awards increased from 115.2 million to 216.6 million, and the number of awards increased from 450 to 665. Funding rose substantially from foundations (336%), to PhD-DO principal investigators (909%), and for osteopathic manipulative medicine (60%). Total award amounts were positively associated with both research expenditures (P<.001) and the number of faculty (P<.001). Larger research expenditures also were related to securing a greater number of awards (P<.001). Research activity at COMs continues to advance partly because of investments in research and faculty made by COMs.
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: Most osteopaths are trained in pediatric care, and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is available for many pediatric conditions. The objective of this systematic review was to critically evaluate the effectiveness of OMT as a treatment of pediatric conditions. Methods: Eleven databases were searched from their respective inceptions to November 2012. Only randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included, if they tested OMT against any type of control in pediatric patients. Study quality was critically appraised by using the Cochrane criteria. Results: Seventeen trials met the inclusion criteria. Five RCTs were of high methodological quality. Of those, 1 favored OMT, whereas 4 revealed no effect compared with various control interventions. Replications by independent researchers were available for 2 conditions only, and both failed to confirm the findings of the previous studies. Seven RCTs suggested that OMT leads to a significantly greater reduction in the symptoms of asthma, congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (posttreatment), daily weight gain and length of hospital stay, dysfunctional voiding, infantile colic, otitis media, or postural asymmetry compared with various control interventions. Seven RCTs indicated that OMT had no effect on the symptoms of asthma, cerebral palsy, idiopathic scoliosis, obstructive apnea, otitis media, or temporomandibular disorders compared with various control interventions. Three RCTs did not perform between-group comparisons. The majority of the included RCTs did not report the incidence rates of adverse effects. Conclusions: The evidence of the effectiveness of OMT for pediatric conditions remains unproven due to the paucity and low methodological quality of the primary studies.
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