A research based definition of osteopathic healthcare

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Presenter: Paul Orrock

The description of osteopathy that exists in textbooks and stakeholder sites is dated and has a limited evidence base. The presenter has collected primary data in a PhD and by several other researchers in varying jurisdictions over the past decade that provides support for a more transparent and modernised description of the profession and a model of its practice in the real world. The model of practice that emerges is one which demonstrates that patients present to osteopaths with complex somatic pain; that it includes a wide-ranging assessment of the patient based on a biopsychosocial model; it is patient/person-centred model based on the tailoring of management and collaborative co-management; it is multi-modal and health focussed; that manual therapy is integral to the intervention as is health promotion and exercise advice, and that outcomes from osteopathic healthcare management are broad and patient-centred.

A new description/definition of osteopathy based on this research is proposed.

Key Learning objectives in this presentation are:

  • Update knowledge on the evidence describing the osteopathic practice
  • Review the identity of osteopathy in the public and professional realms
  • Engage in discussion about a new description of osteopathic practice

About Paul

Paul J Orrock, PhD MAppSc (Res) GradCertHEd ND DO is an osteopathic clinician and academic. He has developed osteopathic courses at two Australian universities and is a senior lecturer and programme coordinator at Southern Cross University. Paul has educational interests in clinical reasoning and problem-based learning. Paul has completed a masters by research in biomechanics exploring gait changes in pelvic dysfunction and a doctorate in the development of models of clinical evidence and has published and presented the findings nationally and internationally. Paul has also had a private practice as an osteopath for 30 years at integrative medical centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay.

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