Palpation Acquisition: Developing a Feedback and Validation Model / Symposium C: Various Concepts, Presentation

A major obstacle to palpation development, is receiving adequate and reliable feedback. In some form, feedback is essential to building confidence, proficiency, precision and accuracy in osteopathy’s instrument of measure, palpation. Other professionals who rely upon their senses, such as chefs, wine tasters, and musicians, have progressive mechanisms in place for providing feedback and validation for skill development and/or performance accuracy. For example, wine tasters learn to discriminate a wine’s bouquet by first learning to associate a certain bouquet with a known variety of grape, soil, growing and storage conditions. Likewise musicians rely on an audio frequency of 440 Hz, against which every tone can be measured. No such standards or feedback mechanisms, set against quantifiable measures, exists for osteopathic palpation skill acquisition and validation. However, with cooperation, time, and investment, a set of standard training and testing apparatus could be developed and incorporated throughout colleges (and research laboratories) worldwide. Such an endeavour could provide improved palpation development and validation. This lecture proposes ideas for developing and establishing palpation skill acquisition and testing, with the anticipation of generating international interest and cooperation. Following this route could one day result in the osteopaths’ hands being internationally recognized as valid and highly precise instruments of measure.

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