The Osteopathy, Mindfulness and Acceptance-based Programme (OsteoMAP) was an innovative three year cohort study examining the effects of integrating psychological interventions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with osteopathic treatment. 

OsteoMAP was the third in a series of research studies designed to expand osteopaths' existing scope of care for patients with persistent musculoskeletal pain that could be partially alleviated but not completely resolved by manual therapy alone. The study was funded with a £256K Innovation grant from the UK Department of Health (ISRCTN 04892266), and developed in collaboration with Dr Lorraine Nanke, a Principal Clinical and Health Psychologist working with the Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership Foundation Trust.

The study focused on patients who were already receiving osteopathy for long-term musculoskeletal conditions and courses were provided in the UCO Clinic and in two NHS GP practices in South East London. Patients who opted to join a course (n = 256) took part in an individual course of treatment, consisting of six one hour sessions combining osteopathic treatment with acceptance-based exercises and home practices to develop and strengthen body-based mindfulness and self-care skills. The course aimed to enhance patients' resilience and wellbeing and their ability to live more active and personally fulfilling lives despite the probability of ongoing pain and physical limitations. Data was collected from a set of self-report questionnaires at baseline and after six months.

At six month follow up, patients (n = 79) reported improvements in their ability to cope with pain, be active and their quality of life. Future research plans include the design of a feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial to compare the effects of the integrated OsteoMAP approach with standard osteopathic or medical care.

Extra information

Hilary Abbey, UCO Research
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