Identification, assessment and management of mood disorders in clients by osteopathic practitioners in New Zealand
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Citation:Sampath, K. K. (2008). Identification, assessment and management of mood disorders in clients by osteopathic practitioners in New Zealand. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec New Zealand, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1349
Background: Mood disorder with its high global prevalence rate is a major public health issue imposing a considerable burden on the community. Early detection and intervention of mood disorders in the primary care setting can help prevent the progression of illness. An osteopath, being a primary care practitioner, may play an important role in early identification and appropriate management of clients with mood disorders. Objectives: Exploration and description of how osteopaths (in New Zealand): 1. Identify mood disorders in clients, 2. Assess mood disorders in clients, and 3. Manage mood disorders in clients. 4. Exploration and description of previous education osteopathic practitioners have had previously of psychological issues such as mood disorders, and 5. Identification of further education needs. Methods: The present study was done using a descriptive/explorative survey design combining quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection and analyses. A total of 216 New Zealand registered osteopaths whose email addresses were publicly available were invited to complete the online survey. Descriptive and inferential analytical techniques were used to analyse the quantitative data. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. Results: Out of 216 participants invited to participate in the study, 62 (29%) completed the survey. The preferred assessment tools include questioning the clients, tissue palpation and cranial rhythm, with least preference for mood disorder questionnaires. However, there exists a clinical dilemma among osteopathic practitioners in managing clients with mood disorders. A majority of the practitioners reported of having had no specific education content regarding mood disorders and felt that further education in this regard would be of value to their practice. Conclusion: Osteopathic practitioners in New Zealand who participated in the present study reported that they ‘often’ come across clients with a history of mood disorders. With an apparent lack of specific education in identifying, assessing and managing clients with mood disorders, a clinical dilemma seems to exist among practitioners with regard to treating clients with mood disorders. Given that osteopaths are primary care practitioners, the perceived gap in education may impact on their ability to identify, assess and manage clients with mood disorders. Hence further knowledge and education with regard to mood disorders is recommended.