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The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment in the newborn nursery and its effect on health in the first six months of life: A retrospective observational case-control study

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Clinical trial

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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment,Cranial and Pediatric


Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2021 May;43:101357.

Authors:

Miriam V Mills

Abstract.



Background: Limitations of traditional medicine and rising interest in complementary medicine call for a closer look at the potential relevance of manual medicine, specifically osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in children.

Objective: To conduct a retrospective observational pilot study of babies who received OMT in the newborn nursery compared to those who did not, by quantifying their outpatient health issues in the first 6 months of life, and to determine the feasibility of further definitive randomized controlled trials of a similar nature.

Design: Retrospective chart review of the first 6 months of life from pediatric clinic records of 58 case-matched pairs of children, half of whom received OMT as part of their routine newborn care by virtue of their physician "call" assignment to the author. The sample from which the case-matched control group was chosen were babies who had received routine allopathic newborn care without OMT. Both groups received their pediatric care in the same academic ambulatory clinic and received no further OMT.

Methods: Outpatient paper chart review consisted of tabulation by points of the following variables: mention of spitting/vomiting, gassiness, food intolerance, irritability/sleeplessness, colic suggested or diagnosed, episodes of otitis media, frequency of antibiotics given, frequency of upper respiratory infections, frequency of lower respiratory problems, diarrhea, and rashes, separated by month of visit in which the variable was reported.

Results: Exploratory analysis by Pearson Chi-square yielded a few statistically significant differences between the 2 groups, in favor of the OMT-treated group, including Month 2 food intolerance (Χ21 = 4.14, P = .04), Month 3 colic suggested (Χ21 = 4.14, P = .04), Month 5 spitting/vomiting (Χ21 = 8.59, P = .003), and Month 5 antibiotic usage (Χ21 = 6.33, P = .012).

Conclusions: Findings point to the need for further research in this area based on the suggestion that OMT given to a newborn can positively affect that baby's short-term and quite possibly long-term health, specifically related to GI complaints and irritability. Other studies would benefit from a variety of methodologic changes, including correlation of timing of administration of OMT with possible symptoms and changes in those symptoms over longer periods of observation, as well as correlation of anatomic osteopathic findings with specific symptoms.

Publication Date: 

2021 May

OEID: 

3567

Mills, VM. (2021) 'The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment in the newborn nursery and its effect on health in the first six months of life: A retrospective observational case-control study ', Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2021 May;43:101357.

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