Bridging the gap between research and osteopathy practitioners, ORION aimed to shed light on the day-to-day practice of osteopathy in Australia, including what techniques are used, which patient populations are treated and what outcomes are achieved. The extensive research provided valuable insight for osteopaths and other health professionals, to gain a greater understanding of the osteopathy profession as a whole. The project aimed to spark further sub-studies to greater explore osteopathy education, practice and the future of the profession.
ORION provided the opportunity to not just establish the infrastructure and evidence base for osteopathy research in the short term, but also to help grow a sustainable research culture and broad evidence platform for osteopathy into the future. Key to this was developing a close working relationship with Universities offering osteopathy courses and academics working in osteopathy education and research.
ORION was undertaken by the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) at the Faculty of Health, University of Technology, Sydney led by Professor Jon Adams. Professor Adams is an experienced health services researcher and Senior Fellow of the Oxford International Research Leadership Program at the University of Oxford. He has also authored 235 peer-reviewed publications since 2000, including Senior Editorship of six international research books.
The project commenced in mid-2015 and took 12 months of development. It had an ORION Steering Committee with a mix of researchers, osteopaths and Osteopathy Australia representative; and gained ethics approval from the Human Ethics Committee, University of Technology Sydney.
On 19 July 2016, the ORION questionnaire was sent to over 1,700 osteopaths around the country.
The ORION project remains a milestone in osteopathic research as Osteopathy Australia can only make headway on many lobbying issues with better data. This project will help protect, promote and enhance the profession.