A single systems research design to examine the effectiveness of osteopathic treatment for people with osteoarthritis of the hip

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Howat, Tony
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Moran, Robert
Hilton, Craig
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
hip osteoarthritis
osteopathic medicine
Howat, T. (2013). A single systems research design to examine the effectiveness of osteopathic treatment for people with osteoarthritis of the hip. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2355
Osteoarthritis (OA) is considered to be one of the leading causes of disability and the most frequent form of arthritis worldwide. There exists a growing body of evidence that manual therapy may be efficacious in reducing pain and improving function in individuals with hip OA. However, no studies have been conducted to study the effect of osteopathic treatment for hip osteoarthritis. The aim of this study was to quantitatively examine any functional effect osteopathic treatment might have on individuals with hip osteoarthritis. Participants (n=6) with previously diagnosed hip OA were recruited and followed during a 12-week study protocol. Participants completed 6 weekly osteopathic treatment sessions aimed at decreasing the pain experienced and increasing the participant’s overall functionality. Both pain and functionality were assessed using the WOMAC score and ICOAP score via an online survey. Clinically meaningful change was defined as effects larger than 14 points of change from mean baseline scores for both WOMAC and ICOAP. Outcome measures were taken weekly for 3-weeks prior to treatment, during the 6 weeks of treatment, and for 3-weeks following treatment. A number of participants were lost to follow up (n=4). All remaining participants showed no clinically meaningful change for both WOMAC and ICOAP at the end of the 12-week study protocol. The results of this study therefore fail to suggest any clinically meaningful effect to the pain and functionality of individuals affected by hip OA was caused by osteopathic treatment. Further research is required to determine the role of osteopathy in the management of people with hip OA.
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