Objective: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) provide information on patients’ views of their symptoms, functional status, health related quality of life and are an important part of evidence-informed practice and patient-centred care. The utilisation of and attitudes to PROMs by Australian osteopaths is unknown. Methods: An online survey was designed to investigate the self-reported utilisation of PROMs by Australian osteopaths, including the frequency of use, the types of PROMs used, the features of PROMs are most useful, the attitudes towards PROMs, and the barriers and enablers for use of PROMs. The survey was a 14-item questionnaire that used a 5-point Likert scale or required free text answers. The effect of gender and years in practice was analysed using Mann-Whitney U tests. Effect sizes were calculated where possible. Results: 166 (male = 69, female = 97) osteopaths participated in the survey. Nearly half (47.6%) reported that pain scales were used ‘frequently’ or ‘always’, but there was less frequent use of PROMs other than pain scales (14.2%), except for third party paying patients (57.4%). Australian osteopaths reported using PROMs most frequently for patients with neck pain (31%) and low back pain (29%). The majority agreed PROMs were important for tracking improvement in patients (61%). The greatest barrier identified by osteopaths was the burden on consultation time. Conclusion: This study highlighted only the minority of Australian osteopaths use PROMs frequently and consider them important. Professional organisations should consider professional development aimed to upskill and support practitioners in the efficient use of PROMs in practice. Implications for clinical practice: • Nearly half (47.6%) of 166 osteopaths reported using pain scales ‘frequently’ or ‘always’, but there was a less frequent use of PROMs other than pain scales (14.2%), except for third party paying patients (57.4%). • The majority of osteopaths agreed that PROMs were important for tracking clinical improvement in patients (61%), although only 48% agreed that PROMs were important in osteopathic practice. • The greatest barrier identified by osteopaths to using PROMs was the burden on consultation time and most common enabler was the requirement of PROMs by third party payers.
- Osteopathic medicine
- Patient reported outcome measures