A qualitative grounded theory study of the conceptions of clinical practice in osteopathy - a continuum from technical rationality to professional artistry
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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Man Ther. 2014 Feb;19(1):37-43.
Oliver P Thomson, Nicola J Petty, Ann P Moore
How practitioners conceive clinical practice influences many aspects of their clinical work including how they view knowledge, clinical decision-making, and their actions. Osteopaths have relied upon the philosophical and theoretical foundations upon which the profession was built to guide clinical practice. However, it is currently unknown how osteopaths conceive clinical practice, and how these conceptions develop and influence their clinical work. This paper reports the conceptions of practice of experienced osteopaths in the UK. A constructivist grounded theory approach was taken in this study. The constant comparative method of analysis was used to code and analyse data. Purposive sampling was employed to initially select participants. Subsequent theoretical sampling, informed by data analysis, allowed specific participants to be sampled. Data collection methods involved semi-structured interviews and non-participant observation of practitioners during a patient appointment, which was video-recorded and followed by a video-prompted reflective interview. Participants' conception of practice lay on a continuum, from technical rationality to professional artistry and the development of which was influenced by their educational experience, view of health and disease, epistemology of practice knowledge, theory-practice relationship and their perceived therapeutic role. The findings from this study provide the first theoretical insight of osteopaths' conceptions of clinical practice and the factors which influence such conceptions.