Barriers and facilitators experienced by osteopaths in implementing a biopsychosocial (BPS) framework of care when managing people with musculoskeletal pain – a mixed methods systematic review

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Health Services Research, 2021, 21, (1), pp. 695
Issue Date:
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BACKGROUND: Clinical practice guidelines commonly recommend adopting a biopsychosocial (BPS) framework by practitioners managing musculoskeletal pain. However, it remains unclear how osteopaths implement a BPS framework in the management of musculoskeletal pain. Hence, the objective of this review was to systematically appraise the literature on the current practices, barriers and facilitators experienced by osteopaths in implementing a BPS framework of care when managing people with musculoskeletal pain. METHODS: The following electronic databases from January 2005 to August 2020 were searched: PubMed, CINAHL, Science Direct, Google Scholar, ProQuest Central and SCOPUS. Two independent reviewers reviewed the articles retrieved from the databases to assess for eligibility. Any studies (quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods) that investigated the use or application of the BPS approach in osteopathic practice were included in the review. The critical appraisal skills program (CASP) checklist was used to appraise the qualitative studies and the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used to appraise quantitative or mixed methods studies. Advanced convergent meta-integration was used to synthesise data from quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods studies. RESULTS: A total of 6 studies (two quantitative, three qualitative and one mixed methods) were included in the final review. While two key concepts (current practice and embracing a BPS approach) were generated using advanced meta-integration synthesis, two concepts (barriers and enablers) were informed from qualitative only data. DISCUSSION: Our review finding showed that current osteopathic practice occurs within in the biomedical model of care. Although, osteopaths are aware of the theoretical underpinnings of the BPS model and identified the need to embrace it, various barriers exist that may prevent osteopaths from implementing the BPS model in clinical practice. Ongoing education and/or workshops may be necessary to enable osteopaths to implement a BPS approach.
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