Licciardone J, Gamber R, Russo D. Quality of life in referred patients presenting to a specialty clinic for osteopathic manipulative treatment. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2002;102(3):151–155. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2002.102.3.151.
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Previous research has found that patients of osteopathic physicians tend to report poorer general health perceptions than persons in the general population or than patients of allopathic physicians. Quality of life and level of healthcare satisfaction in patients referred to a specialty clinic for osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) at a college of osteopathic medicine were measured in 1997. Data from the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) were used to compute standardized scores in the following eight health scales: physical functioning, role limitations because of physical problems, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality, social functioning, role limitations because of emotional problems, and mental health. There were 185 patients who returned the survey (mean response rate, 90%), including 22 new and 163 established patients. Patients reported poorer health than the general population on all eight scales (P < .001). Patients frequently reported poorer quality of life than referents with hypertension, congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, recent acute myocardial infarction, or clinical depression. More than 97% of established patients were satisfied or very satisfied with the healthcare received at the clinic. This study suggests that referred patients presenting to osteopathic physicians for OMT may have poorer quality of life than is generally recognized when relying only on traditional diagnostic approaches. Early detection and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions may be important factors in preventing chronicity and its impact on quality of life.
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