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Research Strategy for Osteopathy Australia

As a professional association Osteopathy Australia is engaged in a diverse range of activities from membership information, continuing education and services to guideline and policy development or lobbying; however, all activities have an overarching goal to enhance and promote the profession. 

High quality university education and training provides exceptional academics, osteopathic practitioners and graduates who work in a variety of health care settings.  With this in mind, the research areas included in our research priorities needs to be equally broad and encompass clinical issues beyond technique or treatment efficacy. 

A description of clear priorities in research for Osteopathy Australia will inform the implementation of our research policy and the all future funding. In doing so, this ensures the direction of research supported by us is consistent with the broader aims of the Osteopathy Australia’s research strategy and supports the place of the osteopathy in higher education and health care.

Research Aims

To facilitate research that benefits osteopathy by:

  • Enhancing and promoting the profession;
  • Embracing the complex reality of osteopathic practice;
  • Promoting rigorous and critical examination of practice;
  • Building understanding of osteopathy’s role and place in  the health system; and
  • Developing research maturity within practitioners, researchers and academics.

Additionally Osteopathy Australia will invest in research capacity building by:

  • Investigating why osteopaths may be less involved with research;
  • Reviewing effective models of research engagement from other countries;
  • Encouraging better collaboration between researchers and practitioners;
  • Developing guidelines, training or workshops to build practitioner engagement with knowledge and skills in research; and
  • Developing a database of osteopath practitioners who may participate in researcher/practitioner collaborations.

Research Priorities

Whilst the overarching focus of our research priorities are osteopathy research, these have been placed in various sub-categories.

Broad Research Priorities

  • Contemporary osteopathic practice - examines facets of professional, contemporary osteopathic practice in the health care systems.
  • Treatment – examines clinical safety and effectiveness of osteopathic practice with approaches which respect the principles and philosophies underpinning osteopathy.
  • Clinical outcomes of osteopathic practice – what are measurable changes in health, wellness or quality of life that result from osteopathic care.
  • Osteopathy in the Australian health care system - understanding the osteopathy workforce, its role and place within contemporary Australian health care.
  • Consumers, consumption and utilisation – examines aspects of osteopathy utilisation by the healthcare consumers and the reasons why they attend.

Osteopathy Australia’s Support

Osteopathy Australia will investigate options to directly support research within our priority areas by (but not limited to):

  • Providing direct funding for research projects with osteopath involvement;
  • Cal for grant submissions;
  • Commission research projects;
  • Work collaboratively with other on projects and funding; and,
  • Participate to support externally competitive funding applications, e.g. ARC Funding

Additionally, we will work with key stakeholders and community to encourage participation in:

  • Lodging abstracts and applications to a structured and competitive Osteopathy Australia grants scheme;
  • Masters scholarships in priority areas or to support budding researchers; and
  • PHD Scholarships, particularly those that increase supervision opportunities for involvement of osteopathy academics.

Latest news

National Safe Work Month

Supporting October’s National Safe Work Month, Osteopathy Australia is encouraging Australians to incorporate simple movements such as stretching, standing up, walking meetings, changing postures regularly and micro-breaks into their working day to reduce the risk of developing a chronic pain problem, or a work-related musculoskeletal complaint.

Media Release: Lower back pain & Osteopathy

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints seen by a GP or healthcare professional. It is estimated that over 80% of Australians will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain may be acute (new pain) or chronic (longstanding pain), and it can range from mild and annoying to severe and debilitating.

Osteopaths are health professionals who are highly trained to treat lower back pain. An osteopath will explain to you why your pain is present, assist to relieve it with manual therapy and identify any barriers to your recovery. During a consultation with an osteopath, your practitioner will first discuss your case and thoroughly assess your condition.