The literature review established that no previous studies had quantified complaints about osteopathy, nor examined patterns in the types of complaints within manual therapy professions. Complaints statistics from the respective regulators show that rates of complaint vary somewhat between professions, with osteopathy being somewhat low compared to chiropractic (at 211) and high compared to physiotherapy (rates being 68, 211 and 20 per 10,000 p.a. respectively). The research literature on adverse events suggested that serious effects after osteopathic treatment are extremely rare (1 in 500,000 or less frequent) while mild effects are common (up to 8 out of 10 patients).
The report has been submitted and the findings presented at the NCOR and WCPT conferences in 2011. The results of this project, a narrative synthesis of the literature on communicating risks of treatment to patients in osteopathic practice and obtaining informed consent, are available here