Original Contribution  |   March 2016
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Older Patients: A National Survey of Osteopathic Physicians
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (Dr Channell); the Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging (Mr McLaughlin and Ms Ciesielski); and the Department of Medicine (Dr Pomerantz) at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey; and Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Springfield, Pennsylvania (Dr Wang). Dr Wang is a third-year resident. Dr Channell’s master’s degree is in secondary science education. 
  • Support: Funding for this project was provided by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Matthew H. McLaughlin, BS, Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Rowan Medicine, 42 E Laurel Rd, Suite 1800, Stratford, NJ 08084-1354. E-mail: mclaugmh@rowan.edu
     
Article Information
Geriatric Medicine / Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Original Contribution   |   March 2016
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Older Patients: A National Survey of Osteopathic Physicians
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2016, Vol. 116, 136-143. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.030
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2016, Vol. 116, 136-143. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.030
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1
Abstract

Context: The mission of the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) emphasizes “the integration of osteopathic principles, practices and manipulative treatment in patient care.” Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) can be used to address serious conditions affecting older persons (≥65 years). However, the percentage of osteopathic physicians who use OMT in older patients, the differences in conditions for which OMT is used, and the OMT techniques used in older patients compared with younger patients are unknown.

Objective: To determine the use of OMT by osteopathic physicians in older patients compared with younger patients.

Methods: Members of the AAO were invited, via 3 e-mail messages sent over the course of a 4-month period, to participate in an anonymous online survey. The survey asked physicians to report the percentage of patients by age group (<65 years, 65-79 years, and ≥80 years) to whom they provided OMT, the types of musculoskeletal and system-based conditions for which OMT was used, and the specific OMT techniques used.

Results: A total of 197 of 629 AAO members (31.3%) responded to the survey. Respondents indicated that OMT was used at approximately the same rate in all patients in the 3 age groups. Osteopathic manipulative treatment was frequently used to manage a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, with the exception of osteoporosis, in all patients in the 3 age groups. The system-based conditions most often managed with OMT were respiratory and neurologic conditions. Various OMT techniques were used to treat patients in the 3 age groups; however, high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) was usually avoided in patients aged 65 years or older.

Conclusion: Osteopathic physicians who used OMT in their practice administered OMT for a variety of musculoskeletal and system-based conditions in patients of all ages. Various OMT techniques were used by these physicians for patients of all ages, with the exception of HVLA, which was mainly used in patients younger than 65 years.

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