Effect of Osteopathic Treatment on Constipation | The International Academy of Osteopathy IAO

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Effect of Osteopathic Treatment on Constipation


Authors: DO, Maika Debisschop & DO, Bart Pieters
Supervisor: Ph.D, Andi Johnson

Aim: Investigating if an osteopathic treatment has effect on patients with constipation.

Method: In this research 39 subjects participated, with in the female group (N=33) averaging 39,8 years old and in the male group (N=6) averaging 39,1 years old. All of the participants had constipation and all of them had osteopathic treatment following the black-box method, which means that the osteopaths didn’t have to follow a defined treatment strategy. The procedure included three treatments with two weeks between.  Before the first treatment and three days after the last treatment, participants had to fill in the Patient Assessment of Constipation - Symptom (PAC-SYM) and Patient Assessment of Constipation - Quality of Life (PAC-QOL), two objective measurements to detect frequency of symptoms and severity of chronic constipation and quality of life.

Findings: The outcomes of this study are positive and suggest that osteopathic treatment is helpful in constipation. All participants stated an improvement in their constipation symptoms scored with the PAC-SYM and their quality of life scored with the PAC-QOL. The rectal symptoms are significantly improved within the dimensions of the PAC-SYM and the psychosocial discomfort within the dimensions of the PAC-QOL both according to P < 0,05. All other dimensions within the PAC-SYM and the PAC-QOL are significantly improved according to P < 0,001.

Conclusion: Osteopathic treatment improves the symptoms and quality of life in participants with constipation.

Keywords: Osteopathic treatment, Constipation, Symptoms, Quality of life