RMIT University, Australia
Title: Holism in Osteopathy – Bridging the gap between concept and practice: A grounded theory study
Paul Turner has completed his Bachelor of Applied Science in Osteopathy and Bachelor of Health Science from RMIT University, Australia. He has been involved with education in manual therapies and conducting research exploring this relationship as well as to develop a theoretical framework model which helps bridge a perceived gap between holistic concept and its practical implementation
Paul Turner presents some of the results of his research from a grounded theory study interviewing experienced osteopathic practitioners about their views on biomedical and holistic approaches as well as the relationship between any individual practitioners’ concept of holism and its practical implementation. This study also explored the role of education played in the understanding and practice of holism. These issues were important to investigate in order to develop a theoretical framework of holism which adequately explained these relationships and to provide a model of practice which may give insight into understanding, assessing and treating patients with chronic health issues. The theoretical framework identifies important relationships, not only between the tissues causing symptoms and the symptoms themselves but also between the tissues causing symptoms and other areas/components of the whole person (physical, energetic, emotional, mental, nutritional, environmental or other) which are potentially involved and which are collectively contributing to the entire ‘pattern of dysfunction’ within any individual patient, as well as how to recognize these other areas from clinical assessment. It is hoped that the theoretical framework of holism presented will provide a platform for future research to improve education (i.e., achieve a balance between holistic and biomedical elements) and health outcomes, particularly in the area of chronic health. Although participants were osteopaths and because the biomedical education and holistic principles form the basis of many health professions, the framework discussed has theoretical and practical implications applicable to many health professionals.