Research informed teaching – low back pain and work

Steven Vogel, The British School of Osteopathy, UK

Osteopathic practice and education draws largely on declarative and tacit knowledge informed by experience and osteopathic values. Integrating evidence informed practice and using evidence based guidelines in osteopathic education is challenging and important. The presentation will describe a Research Informed Teaching project*: “Work-Related Attitudes and Behaviour in Faculty Clinicians Treating Back Pain: Narrowing the Knowledge Gap between Evidence and Teaching”. The project involved the development of research and scholarship resources for staff and students, implementation of journal clubs and primary research using quantitative and qualitativ e research methods. Clinical faculty were surveyed (n=116) about their attitudes to treating back pain and their attitudes to return to work as practitioners and educators. A sample was drawn from the respondents for interview. A 53% response rate (n=61) to the survey was achieved and twelve clinician educators were interviewed. The survey results suggested some agreement with current UK guidelines for low back pain and return to work recommendations, but some important differences in beliefs and attitudes were identified. These included the willingness to contact employers and the perceived role of the osteopath. Interview results included the identification of curriculum recommendations and barriers to implementation of change. These results will be discussed in the context of using evidence based guidance and implementation of change in osteopathic clinical education.

*Funded by the University of Bedfordshire