Characteristics, satisfaction, and perceptions of patients receiving ambulatory healthcare from osteopathic physicians: a comparative national survey.J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2001 Jul; 101(7):374-85.JA
A national telephone survey was conducted in 1998 using random-digit dialing and the first Osteopathic Survey of Healthcare in America (OSTEOSURV-I) instrument to determine patients' satisfaction with their healthcare, as well as their perceptions of osteopathic medicine. Of the 1106 respondents, 243 (22.0%) had received medical care from an osteopathic physician, and another 307 (27.8%) claimed to be aware of osteopathic physicians. Patients of osteopathic physicians reported the highest levels of satisfaction in 8 of the 11 elements studied when compared with patients of allopathic physicians, chiropractors, and nonphysician clinicians other than chiropractors. Respondents perceived osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) to be beneficial for musculoskeletal disorders (P < .001). In addition, respondents perceived that healthcare services provided by osteopathic physicians were similar to those provided by allopathic physicians (P < .001), but not to those provided by chiropractors (P = .01). A total of 97.9% of current patients of osteopathic physicians agreed with the statement that osteopathic physicians practiced in their local community, compared with 80.6% of former patients of osteopathic physicians and 67.8% of patients who had never visited osteopathic physicians (P < .001). In general, the most favorable perceptions of osteopathic medicine were reported by current patients of osteopathic physicians, followed by former patients of such physicians. The least favorable perceptions came from patients who had never been patients of osteopathic physicians. The perception that OMT should be covered by health insurance was significantly associated with the use of osteopathic physicians (odds ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 6.7, among patients who had ever been to an osteopathic physician). The results of our survey suggest that greater access to osteopathic services, including OMT, is desirable and that promotional efforts aimed at encouraging the use of osteopathic medical services among the general population are warranted.