Structural or cranial osteopathy: Factors influencing practitioner preference
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1868
Emerging studies are beginning to explore osteopathic practitioner attitudes and beliefs towards, and experiences with, different treatment styles, namely osteopathy in the cranial field. However, little has been done to investigate the reasons why osteopaths choose to practice within different treatment styles. While many osteopaths integrate a multitude of osteopathic techniques into their clinical practice, this study focused on two specific groups: osteopaths who primarily employed direct structural technique, and osteopaths who primarily employed cranial technique in their clinical practice. The influencing factors that contributed to each osteopath’s decision to practice their chosen treatment modality were analysed. A qualitative approach with thematic analysis and interpretive description has been used as the methodological basis for this study. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews that took place over Skype™ with six osteopaths in Australia who predominantly used either structural or cranial technique. Analysis of the auditory data and interview transcripts revealed multiple themes and influences that contributed to current treatment approach by the participant osteopaths. The most commonly identified themes, from both the osteopaths who used structural technique and those who used cranial technique, were the influence of a mentor or role model, and the clinical environment of their first professional employment. Other themes emerged, including the influence of existing research, the accumulation of clinical experience, as well as the significance of their physical limitations and personal considerations. Discussion surrounding these themes has included the integration of both psychology and medical papers to support the findings of this study.