The need for evaluation of the clinical practice of osteopathy Factual osteopathy, state of play

This study is a retrospective and descriptive analysis of scientific publication on osteopathy, using a bibliometric method. We analysed the Medline Base from 01-01-2000 to 12-31-2009. This revealed osteopathy as a fairly under evaluated practice compared to others (“osteopathic medicine”: 261 articles,“acupuncture”: 3632 articles,“primary health care” 20 743 articles). Research is done exclusively in the Industrialised countries, UK and USA publishing over 90 % of the articles. A single journal (JAOA) is publishing 64 % of the works on this theme. To this day, Osteopathy is still very little and very poorly evaluated. Reasons are multiple: lack of interest from the clinicians, difficult methodological procedures, lack of financial backing. Osteopathy is widely in use nowadays.This and the French 2007 decrees imposing guidelines from the French HAS (Haute Autorité de Santé) should be enough to motivate Osteopathy’s own evaluation. We should validate indications, and determine contra-indications, not waiting for legal claims. This is essential if we want Osteopathy to be reliable and long-lasting.


Thibault Dubois, Osteopath, MSc of Epidemiology and Clinical Research

FOREOS – French Found for osteopathic research - Paris
In charge of Institutional Relations

La revue de l'ostéopathie - Paris
Member of the editorial board in charge of the "scientific news"

Pole IMER Hospices Civils de Lyon
• Development of a bibliometric research protocol to evaluate osteopathic's scientific publications from 2000 to 2010
• Development of research methodology (equations of research, analysis plan)
• Extraction of XML databases (MEDLINE, Pascal, Web of Science) and bibliometric analysis of the content
• Development of the research project COST: Impact of a standardized osteopathic treatment on the HIT-6 score in patients suffering from chronic daily headache treated by osteopathy in addition to conventional treatment with amitriptyline

Member Login