Objective: A qualitative exploration of Osteopaths’ opinions and practices in relation to retained primitive reflexes in childrens with behaviour, postural development and co-ordination problems.
Design: Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interview data.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews.
Settings: Osteopaths’ practice.
Results: For the osteopaths the main contributing factors involving retained primitive reflexes, were observation, listening, palpatory findings, detailed case history. The majority did not use routine assessment of primitive reflexes through set tests. There was homogeneity in the practitioner’s choice of type of osteopathic treatment modality.. The sum of the practitioners own training, knowledge and experience was also significant in determining their overall approach. . The importance of parental involvement emerged as a source of concern both in terms of patient’s management and treatment success.
Conclusion: The study shows that all the osteopaths, regardless of their differences in background, choices of modalities, assessment and aims, all agreed on the importance of returning to basic osteopathic principles and philosophy so that the practitioner can use given knowledge, palpatory/listening findings and awareness of both the internal and external environment of the patient to assess and approach each individual situation.