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Chin, J., Kleyn, L., Dube, E., Terrell, M., Lomiguen, MC., Volokitin, M. (2022) 'Assessing the Knowledge of the Osteopathic Profession in New York City's Eastern European Communities ', Cureus. 2022 Jan 27;14(1):e21664. doi: 10.7759/cureus.21664. eCollection 2022 Jan.


Cureus. 2022 Jan 27;14(1):e21664.
doi: 10.7759/cureus.21664. eCollection 2022 Jan.

Assessing the Knowledge of the Osteopathic Profession in New York City's Eastern European Communities

Justin Chin, Lina Kleyn, Emily Dube, Mark Terrell, Christine M Lomiguen, Mikhail Volokitin

Abstract:

Background According to the decennial Osteopathic Survey of Healthcare in America, the osteopathic profession has been steadily gaining recognition in the United States, particularly among the White/Caucasian demographic. This, however, does not take into account immigrant European communities that, while racially classified as White/Caucasian, may be unexposed to osteopathic physicians (DOs) in their home country and may be reticent to osteopathic manipulative medicine. Data on non-English-speaking communities are limited and can mask the need for further outreach. This study aimed to identify literature in osteopathic outreach to minority communities and assess osteopathic awareness in New York City's Eastern European communities. Secondary objectives include characterization of potential barriers in hindering access to osteopathic medicine, and, by extension, other minority groups. Methodology An anonymous survey prepared in Russian and English was used to gather demographics, education level, healthcare habits, and knowledge of the osteopathic profession. To provide a clinical scenario, a health habit question regarding low back pain (LBP) was provided to participants. Participants over the age of 18 were randomly selected from high density Eastern European areas at two separate time points. Statistical analysis was performed using R to evaluate independence between questions using chi-square tests. Results A total of 150 surveys met the inclusion criteria, with 71 males and 79 females, an age range of 18-92, and a median age of 62. On comparing demographics, education level, and healthcare habits, only English proficiency showed statistical significance (p = 0.039) in determining recognition of the osteopathic profession. Overall, 60% (n = 94) stated that they have heard of osteopathic medicine and knew what a DO physician does. However, only 35% (n = 53) would see a DO for LBP, with 50% (n = 77) seeing a physical therapist. Conclusions Compared to research examining osteopathic awareness in ethnic minority communities, the Russian community in New York appears to have greater recognition of the osteopathic profession. This, however, does not translate into a clinical scenario as more participants were more likely to see a physical therapist. While this difference can be attributed to numerous factors, it stands without doubt that greater osteopathic outreach and data collection needs to be performed in minority communities.

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