Perception-Based Effects of Clinical Exposure to Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on First- and Second-Year Osteopathic Medical Students

Kathleen M. Vazzana, OMS IV; Sheldon C. Yao, DO; Min-Kyung Jung, PhD; and Michael J. Terzella, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: September 17, 2013

Accepted: December 27, 2013

Published: July 1, 2014

J Osteopath Med; 114(7): 572-580

Context: Little research has been done regarding osteopathic medical students’ clinical exposure to osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). Most existing research focuses on third- and fourth-year students.

Objectives: To determine the effects of clinical exposure to OMT on first- and second-year osteopathic medical students by assessing the same population’s perceptions of OMT.

Methods: In the present survey-based study, conducted at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, first- and second-year osteopathic medical students were administered an electronic survey containing 18 multiple-choice questions. The first 2 questions were demographic. The next 6 questions had participants identify what, if any, clinical exposure to OMT they had, including clinical shadowing, the MedPrep program, and the Summer Student American Academy of Osteopathy Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Preceptorship program. The 10 questions that followed assessed the participant’s perception of OMT: (1) understanding, (2) attitude toward OMT, (3) scope of practice of OMT, and (4) intention to use OMT in future clinical practice. The survey used the statistically validated Likert scale for all of the scaled questions. Analysis was performed using the Pearson χ2 test and the Fisher exact test.

Results: Of the 600 students who were sent surveys, 364 replied, for a response rate of 60.7%. There was an association with students’ anticipated use of OMT in their future clinical practice and the following types of clinical exposures to OMT: MedPrep (P=.04), Summer Student American Academy of Osteopathy Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Preceptorship (P=.04), extracurricular OMT didactics (P=.048), and shadowing a physician performing OMT before attending osteopathic medical school (P=.007). Being treated with OMT had no association with anticipated future use of OMT. More OMT clinical exposures were associated with more positive responses to the perception questions (χ12=13.8$chi _1^2 = 13.8$, P<.001).

Conclusions: Participants with clinical exposure to OMT before entering clinical training were more likely to plan to use OMT in future practice. Early clinical exposure to OMT before or during the first 2 years of osteopathic medical school was associated with a positive perception of OMT.

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