Development of a data collection tool to profile osteopathic practice: use of a nominal group technique to enhance clinician involvement

Carol Fawkes, Carolyn Leach, Shirly Mathias, A. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about the profile of osteopathic care in the United Kingdom (UK). To address this, a standardised data collection (SDC) tool was developed to record patient-based data within private practice. The development of the SDC tool took place within a national network of research groups (hubs) created by the National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR); nominal groups were created from the hub network. A Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was used to promote maximum involvement by clinicians and increase ownership of the process: this approach encouraged generation of ideas around specific topics. Following several rounds of iteration, a draft tool was created, followed by a three stage testing process to identify omissions, unnecessary jargon, ambiguities, and any regional differences. The tool developed for a national use by UK osteopaths consisted of 65 items. These were divided into specific sections for patient or clinician completion. The section for patient completion collected data concerning demographic and symptom data. Clinicians provided data concerning treatment provided, advice to promote self-management and avoidance of symptom recurrence, outcome information, service data concerned with waiting times, the number of treatments delivered, and the necessity for referral. The tool development process produced a data collection tool aimed to collect snapshot data across the osteopathic profession. The national pilot of the tool will identify changes required, and any barriers to its use by busy professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalManual Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2013


  • Musculoskeletal
  • Standardised data collection
  • Osteopathic medicine
  • Tool development


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