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Supporting osteopaths and patients to make decisions together: independent survey launched

13 April 2023

Professor Dawn Carnes, a Research Fellow at University College of Osteopathy, has been commissioned by GOsC to evaluate a set of resources aimed at supporting communication between patients and osteopaths.

A short independent survey exploring osteopaths’ use of the resources has been launched. The survey of osteopaths is the first stage in this research and provides an opportunity for osteopaths to give their views.

Developed by GOsC with the aim of supporting patients to make decisions together with osteopaths about their care before, or during, consultations, the resources include for example a Patient History Form and a Patient Goal Planner, as well as a Practitioner Reflection Form.

Professor Dawn Carnes, leading the independent research, said: ‘Miscommunication between patients and osteopaths are a key feature of concerns and complaints and this research aims to see whether these resources could reduce miscommunication and assumptions which are easily made between osteopaths and patients, leading to more positive and successful consultations.

‘Our research, commissioned by the GOsC, could support osteopathic practice by helping to answer key questions such as:

  • What makes a successful or positive consultation for osteopaths and patients?
  • Do these resources support patients and osteopaths to have better quality conversations? How might these resources be improved?
  • Do the resources support patients to make decisions that are and feel right for them in a collaborative process with osteopaths?

‘I would encourage all osteopaths to take 10 minutes of their time to share their thoughts.’

Fiona Browne, Director of Education, Standards and Development at the GOsC, said: ‘We are delighted that Professor Dawn Carnes is undertaking this important piece of independent research for the benefit of osteopaths and patients.

‘We worked with osteopaths and patients as equal partners to develop resources to support effective communication and listening during consultations, and to inform decisions about care and treatment. The resources were published last year and now we are keen to understand whether they have or could support effective communication between osteopaths and their patients.

‘Professor Carnes’ research will inform future work to support patients and osteopaths to make more explicit what is important to them, to support shared decision making with the ultimate aim of helping to make appointments a positive experience for osteopaths and patients.’

Survey responses will be completely confidential to Professor Carnes and her research team which means GOsC will not have access to the individual responses.

Osteopaths wishing to complete the survey can do so online.

For more information on the survey, please email Dawn Carnes: Dawn.Carnes@uco.ac.uk