Correlation of Personal Experience and Acquired Knowledge With Intent to Recommend Adjunctive Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment or Yoga for Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain

Michael A. Seffinger, DO; Eric Hurwitz, DC, PhD; John Quiamas, DO, MSc; Antoinette Kitch, OMS IV; Vanessa Mervyn-Cohen, DO; and Edward Lin, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: February 16, 2018

Accepted: April 3, 2018

Published: November 1, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(11): 738-745

Context: Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and yoga are both recommended by systematic reviews in the evidence-based research literature for low back pain management. It is unknown, to the authors’ knowledge, what the effect of personal experience with OMT or yoga, reading research articles on OMT or yoga, or both will have on medical students’ recommendations for these treatment options to future patients with chronic low back pain.

Objectives: To evaluate the likelihood of osteopathic medical students recommending OMT or yoga to treat patients with chronic low back pain based on their personal experience or reading research articles that recommend OMT or yoga for patients with chronic low back pain.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study, researchers administered an anonymous 18-question online survey for osteopathic medical students. The survey included a patient vignette, 2 evidence-based articles, and multiple choice, yes/no, and Likert-type questions. Participants were recruited via email from all 4 years of medical school. Between-group differences in proportions were assessed with descriptive statistics and χ2 tests; differences within groups were assessed with the McNemar test; and Fischer exact tests were used when expected cell counts were less than 5.

Results: A total of 180 participants (100 male, 80 female) completed the study. Personal experience increased the likelihood of osteopathic medical students recommending OMT (P<.018) or yoga (P<.001) to a future patient or to a patient in a case vignette (P<.05) with chronic low back pain. Students who read research articles were more likely to recommend OMT to the case patient and future patients before and after reading the intervention article regardless of their experience (P<.001).

Conclusions: Personal experience and reading evidence-based research may increase the likelihood that osteopathic medical students will recommend OMT to future patients with chronic low back pain.

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