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Letters to the Editor  |   August 2011
Can Laypersons Be Trained to Effectively Deliver Osteopathic Manual Therapy to Patients With HIV?
Article Information
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Letters to the Editor   |   August 2011
Can Laypersons Be Trained to Effectively Deliver Osteopathic Manual Therapy to Patients With HIV?
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 2011, Vol. 111, 464. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2011.111.8.464
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 2011, Vol. 111, 464. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2011.111.8.464
To the Editor: 
Drs Newberry, Bowen, Trubey, and Fernandez present an interesting article in the May issue of JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association titled “Can Laypersons be Trained to Effectively Deliver Osteopathic Manual Therapy to Patients With HIV? A Pilot Study.”1 I was distressed, however, to see the statement on the cover of that JAOA edition: “Training Laypersons to Perform OMT on Patients With HIV.” 
The authors1 carefully distinguished between osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) as performed by osteopathic physicians and osteopathic manual therapy techniques as performed by laypersons. The Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology2 defines OMT as the “therapeutic application of manually guided forces by an osteopathic physician (U.S. usage) to improve physiologic function and/or support homeostasis that has been altered by somatic dysfunction.” The osteopathic physician component is essential to the practice of OMT. 
Interestingly, in a letter to the editor in the May JAOA, Jonathon R. Kirsch, DO,3 warns of the danger to the osteopathic medical profession of separating treatment techniques from proper diagnosis. Dr Kirsch3 refers to Irvin M. Korr, PhD,4 who stressed the importance of practicing OMT “as an integral part of the total interaction between physician and patient.” 
Teaching laypersons to assist in a patient's care with manual techniques may be valuable, but those techniques do not qualify as OMT. Our professional journal should be very clear on this point, especially on its cover. 
   Editor's Note: The JAOA apologizes for the cover statement on the May 2011 issue, “Training Laypersons to Perform OMT on Patients With HIV,” which incorrectly implied that Drs Newberry, Bowen, Trubey, and Fernandez equated osteopathic manipulative treatment with osteopathic manual therapy.
 
References
Newberry MA, Bowen GS, Trubey K, Fernandez MI. Can laypersons be trained to effectively deliver osteopathic manual therapy to patients with HIV? A pilot study. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2011;111(5): 325-330. [PubMed]
Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology. Chevy Chase, MD: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine; revised April 2009. http://www.aacom.org/resources/Documents/Downloads/GOT2009ed.pdf. Accessed July 27, 2011.
Kirsch JR. Are clinical protocols for osteopathic manipulative procedures truly “osteopathic” [letter]? J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2011;111(5): 322,347. [PubMed]
Korr IM. Osteopathic research: the needed paradigm shift. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1991;91 (2):156-171. [PubMed]