Context: Research regarding patient awareness of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) can help identify barriers and factors limiting patient knowledge. Levels of knowledge about OMM and osteopathic physicians have been studied in New York’s Chinese and Korean populations, but have not previously been investigated in the South Asian population.
Objectives: To assess the knowledge of OMM and osteopathic physicians within a South Asian community of New York.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed in which a culturally appropriate survey, provided in both English and Hindi, was administered to study participants in order to measure knowledge of osteopathic medicine. The study utilized convenience sampling and distributed surveys to individuals who identified themselves of South Asian descent at high traffic sites in Hicksville, New York. The survey contained 10 questions, assessing the individual’s knowledge of osteopathic medicine. The Kruskal–Wallis and Chi-Square tests were employed to determine statistical significance of the data obtained from the surveys.
Results: The survey was conducted on 100 participants in Hicksville, New York. The respondent demographics included 53 males and 47 females with an average age of 41.2 ± 16.3 years old. There were 34 (34%) participants who had heard of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and 26 (26%) participants who had knowledge of doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) physicians. Respondents were found more likely to have knowledge of DOs if they were born in the United States (US) vs. other countries (US, 8 of 14 [57.1%] vs. others, 18 of 86 [20.9%]; p=0.006) or lived longer in the US (11 of 26 [42.3%], p=0.039). Participants who spoke a non-English primary language were also found less likely to have knowledge of DOs as they made up 46 of the 58 respondents who indicated no knowledge (79.3%, p=0.042).
Conclusions: A general lack of knowledge of DOs and OMM exists within the South Asian community of Hicksville, New York and lower levels of awareness were found among participants who were male, born outside the US, had a language other than English as their primary language, and had spent less time in the US. Additional educational resources may be implemented to increase awareness of DOs and OMM among this and similar communities.