This international study is being conducted by a research team which includes two members of UCO (Dr Oliver Thomson and Dr Michael Ford) who are collaborating with osteopaths and researchers from Sweden (Dr Tobias Sundberg, Karolinska Institutet) and Australia (Dr Matthew Leach, University of South Australia; Professor Jon Adams, University of Technology Sydney; and Dr Phil Austin, Greenwich Hospital, Australia).
In the UK, the study is also being conducted with assistance from General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the Institute of Osteopathy (iO) and the National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR).
The aim of the study is to identify the skills, attitudes and use of evidence-based practice (EBP) amongst osteopaths in the UK. A cross sectional questionnaire has been developed to assess whether osteopaths currently engage in evidence-based practice (EBP) and if so, to what extent; their opinions about EBP and levels of skill and training; to determine the factors that enable or limit osteopaths' use of EBP amongst osteopaths; and explore what types of intervention would increase osteopaths' use of EBP
Evidence-based practice (EBP) frameworks aim to improve clinical practice by providing a scientific framework to identify and answer priority questions about effectiveness in health care. It encourages health professionals to move from delivering care based on tradition and intuition to decision making guided by the best available evidence in combination with clinical expertise and patient preferences. Despite the advantages of EBP, there are concerns that some healthcare practitioners remain cautious about embracing this model of care. It is argued that failure to utilise EBP may delay the integration of innovative treatments in clinical practice, contribute to adverse client outcomes, and may reduce the credibility of practitioners who reject an evidence-based approach. EBP aims to improve multidisciplinary collaboration, the consistency of clinical care, and meet patients' healthcare needs more effectively.
This study aims to identify osteopaths' current opinions and practices, in order to develop ways of promoting appropriate EBP approaches and enhancing the quality of future patient care. The cross-sectional survey uses a 70-item questionnaire known as EBASE-UK, and the study aims to recruit at least 357 UK osteopaths. It will conclude later in 2017, after which time the results will be published.