Objectives: This study aimed to describe patients' perspectives on their experience in osteopathic treatment, to contribute toward developing interpretative models on effectiveness.
Methods: A descriptive phenomenological approach was used. The data were collected through a semistructured interview. To capture the variability of the phenomenon, a purposive sample of 12 participants with previous experience of osteopathic care was selected. The data analysis was carried out in an inductive way, and it was parallel to the recruitment to continuously monitor the data saturation.
Results: Data saturation was reached with 12 participants (female = 9; male = 3). Participants' age ranged from 27 to 82 years old (mean: 55.25 ± 17.15; median: 59; kurtosis: -0.82). Participants had different reasons for consultation. The analysis showed 1 overarching theme, "Osteopathy is a path of awareness," 3 themes, and 12 categories. Themes were: (1) "The experience of pain produces awareness of the need for care," (2) "Osteopathy is a journey to be shared over time," and (3) "The effectiveness of the osteopathic treatment is the discovery of the person's unity by experience."
Conclusion: Participants affirm that osteopathy is a path of awareness that starts from an experience of pain; leads them to contact an osteopath; and ends with their experience of the unity of body, mind, and spirit.
Author keywords: Manipulation, Osteopathic; Qualitative Research; Patient Outcome Assessment; Treatment Outcome
Author affiliations: GC: Research Department, Centre pour l'Etude, la Recherche et la Diffusion Osteopathiques, Rome, Italy; Clinical-based Human Research Department, Research Division, COME Collaboration, Pescara, Italy; AM, MGDM: Società Italiana di Pedagogia Medica, Verona, Italy; Research Unit Nursing Science, Campus Bio Medico University, Rome, Italy.
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