The role of New Zealand osteopaths in the care of people who experience migraine : a qualitative exploration
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Citation:Chaise, K. (2017) The role of New Zealand osteopaths in the care of people who experience migraine : a qualitative exploration. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4226
BACKGROUND: Migraine is a common, disabling, neurovascular disorder. The aetiology and pathophysiology of the condition are complex, and still carry many unknown factors. Despite the pharmaceutical agents developed to help people who experience migraine (PwEM), these present drawbacks and many patients have difficulty finding relief. While most osteopaths claim that they can treat PwEM, evidence for this is scarce. While the results from the few studies that do exist are promising, much more research is required to determine the mechanism of action of osteopathy and its level of effectiveness for migraine. Research investigating the role osteopaths play in treating these patients is a first step to advance the profession and improve the care PwEM receive. OBJECTIVE: To develop a descriptive model of the phenomenon experienced by osteopaths who treat PwEM, and thus unveil the role that these practitioners play in the care of these patients. METHODS: To carry out this study, five New Zealand osteopaths were interviewed to gather their views on their role in caring for PwEM. The five in-depth, face-to-face interviews lasted between 53 and 60 minutes each. Analysis of the data from the interviews was done using descriptive phenomenological methods, following Colaizzi’s seven steps of analysis (Colaizzi, 1978). RESULTS: A descriptive model showing the essential meaning of care for PwEM as an osteopath in New Zealand was successfully developed. Two overarching themes, ‘The Migraine Challenge’ and ‘The Role of the Osteopath in the Care of PwEM’ were found. The multiple themes and subthemes composing these results showed the multifaceted role osteopaths take on to help these patients. Specific areas for further research in this field were identified. CONCLUSION: Osteopaths have the potential to help PwEM. This study shows a first insight into the role osteopaths play in caring for PwEM, and highlights specific aspects of treatment which were recurrent across all five interviews. These provide a guide for future research, as more specific studies must be undertaken to advance the profession and determine the value of osteopathy in the care for migraine.