Demographic, practice and clinical management characteristics of osteopaths referring to podiatrists: secondary analysis of a nationally representative sample of Australian osteopaths

Michael Fleischmann, Brett Vaughan, Adam Bird, Sandra Grace, Kylie Fitzgerald, Gopi McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Interprofessional care is paramount in contemporary healthcare practice. How different professions interact, and the characteristics of those practitioners who practice in an interprofessional way are rarely described in the literature. The aim of the current work was to identify the demographic, practice and clinical management characteristics of Australian osteopaths who report referring to podiatrists. METHODS: The study was a secondary analysis of data from the Osteopathy Research and Innovation Network (ORION). Inferential statistics were generated to identify statistically significant demographic, practice and clinical management characteristics associated with referrals to podiatrists by Australian osteopaths. RESULTS: Nine-hundred and ninety-two Australian osteopaths responded to the questionnaire. Sending referrals to a podiatrist was reported by 651 participants (65.6%). Female Australian osteopaths were less likely to report referring to podiatrists compared to male osteopaths (OR 0.76, 95%CI 0.59-0.99). Australian osteopaths who reported referring to podiatrists were more likely to report receiving referrals from podiatrists (OR 9.75, 95%CI 6.98-13.61), use orthopaedic testing in patient assessment (OR 7.62, 95%CI 2.82-20.60), and often treat patients with postural disorders (OR 1.71, 95%CI 1.03-2.26), compared to osteopaths who do not refer to podiatrists. CONCLUSION: This study provides initial evidence for the referral relationship between Australian osteopaths and podiatrists. Further work could explore the nature of these referrals, including the complaints resulting in referral and outcomes of care. This information will be useful to those involved in health policy development and the professions advocating for their role in the wider healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

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