PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF THE OSTEOPATHIC PROFESSION

A recent survey into the general public’s awareness of the Osteopathic profession showed that it is generally considered that Osteopaths provide very high quality care. However, there was less confidence in the Osteopathic profession amongst the group who had never actually been treated by an Osteopath (ie. 60% said they had a “lot” or a “fair amount” of confidence as opposed to 98% of those who had actually been treated by an Osteopath.) It is interesting to note that with the more historically recognised professions such as Physiotherapy (78%), Pharmacy (87%) and Dentistry (90%) the figures did not actually change a great deal between the group who had been treated as opposed to those that had not. Although this suggests a greater understanding of what some other profession do, it also confirms that patients are extremely happy with the service they receive once they have consulted with an Osteopath. Great strides have been made over the last thirty years in the Osteopathic profession – once upon a time most people did not know what an Osteopath did and the medical profession did not listen to what we had to say: Nowadays we receive constant referrals from the medical profession and are able to fully contribute to patient management. However, from this study it is still clear that we need to work harder to raise public awareness of the work we do and to dispel the perception that Osteopaths are “alternative” or “complimentary”. Please let us know your thoughts on this.