Characteristics, Opportunities, and Challenges of Osteopathy (COCO) in the Perceptions of Osteopaths in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: Protocol for a Comprehensive Mixed Methods Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJMIR Research Protocols. 2019, 8 (12), . 10.2196/15399
Background: Currently, the importance of osteopathy within the health care system is controversial. The training structures and the acknowledgment of the occupational profile strongly differ in the German-speaking territory. Objective: This study aims to examine the characteristics of the osteopathic profession as well as the possibilities and challenges for osteopaths in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Methods: This study adopted a mixed methods design. The research topic will be examined based on qualitative and quantitative partial studies that will be conducted in parallel as well as sequentially. By applying different research methods and sample testing and by using standardized, validated measurement methods, we expect to be able to gain new insights into the work area of osteopathy. Results: In November 2018, we started the research and data collection. Currently, we are conducting the first two partial studies. The planned duration of each of the partial study is 6-9 months. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Conclusions: This study will examine how osteopaths define themselves in comparison with professionals from other occupational profiles and how they describe the characteristics of their work. The identification of central issues is expected to help clarify the issues and define the profession. As such, the results might contribute to the conservation and improvement of the quality of osteopathic treatment.