Osteopathy is a kind of therapy whereby the restoration of health is assumed to come from manipulation of the skeleton and the muscles. It is very important, to be informed with the latest scientific findings when dealing with osteopathy to ensure proper management of patients seeking osteopathic treatment. A critical appraisal involves the breaking down of the information presented by a given journal or article and assessing the validity (testing whether the results obtained are true) of the claims through a step by step processing of the contents and parts.
It is ‘…the process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, value and relevance in a particular’ (Carnes, 2008:27). These steps involve an assessment of the processes by which the author arrived at his or her conclusions. If the methodology is found to meet scientific standards and no confounding variables can be identified, the conclusions in a given study are said to be reliable. Reliable to mean that, the data that is obtained is a true representation of the facts and would not change if the same study was to be carried out (Crombie, 2004).
‘There should be sufficient details to allow the reader to decide whether the data which has been collected is accurate. If measurements were made, the circumstances in which they were taken should be described (Crombie, 2004:4). Assessing the validity and reliability of a given article is important, especially in the field of Osteopathy where the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) which is expanding research establishing the National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR). ‘The GOsC is committed to supporting best practice in osteopathic research.Osteopathy’s integration within the wider primary healthcare community will be assisted by reliable evidence of the health benefits of osteopathic care’ (GOsC 2010).
Works of the UK BEAM Trial Team (2004) as well as of Carnes and Underwood (2008) are the main reason for this appraisal paper. Both articles explore management strategies that can be employed on patients experiencing pain. The UK BEAM Trial Team explored the effectiveness of back pain exercise and manipulation in a private setting and in a National Health Service (NHS) setting on the patient’s experience of pain (Bandolier, 2004).The article by Carnes and Underwood tackled the issue of monitoring in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
This research carried out in this case is by means of qualitative method. ‘Qualitative research is used to explore and understand people’s beliefs, experiences, attitudes, behavior and interactions. It generates non- numerical data, e. g.
A patient’s description of their pain rather than a measure of pain’ (Bandolier, 2004).