It is important that the public has confidence in the quality and safety of osteopathic care.
Our aim is to ensure that as an organisation we understand patient and public needs, views and concerns so that we can improve our patient information and our guidance for osteopaths.
Osteopathic patient expectations studies have been carried out in the UK recently with remarkable results. The General Osteopathic Council commissioned research into patients’ expectations of osteopathic care as part of a wider programme of work to enhance knowledge of the attitudes, needs and concerns of the public and patients who seek the care of osteopaths. A University of Brighton research team won the commission to conduct the research. Patient views were collected during 2009–10 and again Focus groups February and July 2014.
The research therefore posed two principle questions:
- What are the specific aspects of osteopathic practice about which patients have expectations?
- what extent do patients perceive that their expectations are met or unmet?
Patient and public perceptions
We have again been talking and listening to patients to explore their views, as part of ongoing research we are conducting into public and patient perceptions of osteopathic care. We held a number of focus groups in the first half of 2014 attended by osteopathic patients, and members of the public with no prior experience of osteopathy. We are interested in the experiences of osteopathic patients but we also want to understand why people who have cause to see an osteopath might have chosen not to do so. Participants in the focus groups were aged 18-80 and represented a range of backgrounds. These events were facilitated by independent research company Community Research.