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Vaughan, B., Fleischmann, M., Fitzgerald, K., Grace, S., Orrock, P., Steel, A. (2020) 'Australian osteopaths as non-medical prescribers: comparison of healthcare practitioner characteristics from a nationally representative survey ', Aust J Prim Health. 2020 Oct;26(5):417-423.

Aust J Prim Health. 2020 Oct;26(5):417-423.

Australian osteopaths as non-medical prescribers: comparison of healthcare practitioner characteristics from a nationally representative survey

Brett Vaughan, Michael Fleischmann, Kylie Fitzgerald, Sandra Grace, Paul Orrock, Amie Steel

Abstract:

The study aimed to compare the characteristics of Australian osteopaths who definitely agree that prescribing scheduled medicines is part of their future scope of practice with those who do not. A secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey of osteopaths from an Australian practice-based research network was undertaken. Demographic, practice and treatment characteristics were identified using inferential statistics and backward linear regression modelling. Over one-quarter (n=257, 25.9%) of the total participants (n=992) indicated that they 'definitely' agree that osteopaths should seek prescription rights. Adjusted odds ratios (OR) suggested these osteopaths were more likely to engage in medication discussions with patients (OR 1.88), frequently manage migraines (OR 1.68) and seek increased practice rights for referrals to medical specialists (OR 2.61) and diagnostic imaging (OR 2.79). Prescribing as part of the future scope of practice for Australian osteopaths is associated with patient management (medication discussions) and practice characteristics (increased referral rights for specialists and diagnostic imaging) that warrant additional investigation. Understanding of the practice, clinical and patient management characteristics of Australian osteopaths who see prescribing as part of the future scope of practice informs the case for regulatory and health policy changes for prescribing scheduled medicines.

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