Research Suggests that Manual Medicine May Improve Outcomes in Elderly with Pneumonia


Newswise — A clinical trial of 306 subjects 50 years of age or older who were hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia, showed a one-day reduction in the length of hospital stay in those patients who received OMT in addition to standard medical care as compared to patients who received only conventional medical care.

Using a per protocol analysis for the subgroup of patients ages 50-74, patients in the conventional care group were hospitalized an average of 3.9 days, while those in the group receiving OMT in addition to conventional care were hospitalized an average of 2.9 days. The group that received light touch (placebo manual treatment) and conventional medical care were discharged in an average of 3.5 days. An intent-to-treat analysis of patients 75 years of age and older showed a significant decrease in mortality in both the OMT and light touch groups compared to the conventional care group.

The Multicenter Osteopathic Pneumonia Study in the Elderly (MOPSE) was a registered, randomized, controlled, double-blinded, clinical trial that sought to assess the impact of adjunctive osteopathic manual medicine techniques in the treatment of patients over the age of 50 who were hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia. The study was conducted between March 2004 and December 2006 at seven hospitals in five states: Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas.

Osteopathic manual treatment has been used by osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) throughout the United States since the late 1800s when osteopathic medicine was founded in Kirksville, MO. Osteopathic physicians are trained and licensed to practice all forms of conventional medicine, and also offer their patients osteopathic manual treatment, a system of hands-on techniques that help restore structure and function, and remove impediments to healing. OMT techniques can be used to alleviate pain, restore range of motion and enhance the immune system. There is anecdotal evidence supporting the benefits of OMT and basic science studies are currently underway at a number of colleges of osteopathic medicine to scientifically document its efficacy in medical care. MOPSE is a demonstration of such a study.

MOPSE was funded by a group of osteopathic medicine-supportive foundations lead by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and the Foundation for Osteopathic Health Services. The $1.3 million grant was awarded to the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine at the A.T. Still University in Kirksville, MO. Oversight for the study was provided by the Osteopathic Research Center at the University of North Texas Health Science Center " Fort Worth, Texas.


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