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Special Communication  |   February 1999
Opinions of MDs, RNs, allied health practitioners toward osteopathic medicine and alternative therapies: Results from a Vermont survey
Article Information
Special Communication   |   February 1999
Opinions of MDs, RNs, allied health practitioners toward osteopathic medicine and alternative therapies: Results from a Vermont survey
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 1999, Vol. 99, 101-108. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1999.99.2.101
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 1999, Vol. 99, 101-108. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1999.99.2.101
Abstract

The authors surveyed 191 allopathic physicians (MDs), registered nurses (RNs), and allied health professionals (AI-ll's) regarding their opinions toward osteopathic medicine and alternative therapies. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to these healthcare professionals practicing in a rural region of west-central Vermont. Participants responded to six questions concerning osteopathic medicine and 18 types of alternative therapies. These questions addressed safety issues, efficacy, personal experience, patient referrals, interest in learning more about alternative medicine, and whether alternative medicine should be provided at the regional hospital. The number of positive responses was totaled as a positive opinion score (POS) for each respondent. Survey results indicated that MDs' general acceptance of osteopathic medicine was less than that of relaxation techniques, massage therapy, self-help groups, and acupuncture. Allopathic physicians' opinions toward osteopaths mirrored that shown toward chiropractors. Nevertheless, MDs responded more positively to osteopathy than did RNs and AHPs. Overall, RNs had a higher opinion of alternative therapies (mean POS 50.4) than did AI-ll's (mean POS 41.7) or MDs (mean POS 36.0; F = 4.98; P-value = 0.009). Among MDs, primary care providers averaged a POS of 41.1, while specialists had a mean POS of 24.0 (F = 6.85; P-value = 0.012). Overall, female respondents had a mean POS of 45.7 and men had a mean POS of 37.0 (F =3.91; P-value = 0.051). The POS did not correlate with age (Pearson's r test; r = - 0.105).