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How touch is communicated in the manual therapy context

8 February 2019

The General Osteopathic Council and the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) are collaborating on work exploring how touch is communicated in the context of manual therapy.

Patients report very high levels of satisfaction with osteopathic care, but patient-reported concerns about consent, communication issues and boundary transgressions, are higher than desirable, although they are reducing.

We are interested to work with others within and outside the sector to understand how we can support the reduction of these concerns, while maintaining the reported benefits of therapeutic touch.

We, and the GCC, have already commissioned a literature review in relation to communication and miscommunication in the context of touch, to explore the implications for the regulators and others in the sector.

We are now holding a joint workshop, with meetings in Huddersfield and London at the end of March.

The aims of the workshop are:

  • To share the findings of the literature review.
  • To seek feedback from participants about their response to the findings.
  • To promote discussion, feedback and the generation of creative ideas supporting the reduction of concerns whilst maintaining and enhancing the reported benefits of touch.
  • To agree next steps.

Attendees at the workshop will include patients, osteopaths, professional associations, educators, chiropractors and representatives from other professional groups. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with each other, and the regulators, with a view to making a difference in this critical and under-researched area.

Any osteopaths or osteopathic patients interested in attending the workshops should contact fbrowne@osteopathy.org.uk Please note that places are limited.

We will publish further information about the findings from this work in due course.