The development and exploratory analysis of the Osteopaths’ Therapeutic Approaches Questionnaire (Osteo-TAQ)

Published:August 05, 2020DOI:


      • There is variation in how osteopaths approach patients, termed their ‘therapeutic approach’.
      • This variation includes their approach to clinical decision-making andlevel of patient involvement.
      • The Osteo-TAQ is a 30-item questionnaire developed from a qualitative grounded theory study.
      • The Osteo-TAQ appears to be a valid instrument to characterise osteopaths' therapeutic approaches.



      Clinical practice encompasses the complex interaction of different skills, knowledge and values in the context of a therapeutic relationship. Research has demonstrated a positive association between well-developed therapeutic relationships, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes in musculoskeletal conditions. There has been little research into osteopaths’ decision making regarding choice of therapeutic approaches.


      The aim of this study was to develop a new questionnaire to assess differences in osteopaths' therapeutic approaches, and to subsequently investigate the internal consistency of the factors identifying different underlying practice concepts and the validity and generalisability of a qualitative grounded theory on osteopaths’ therapeutic approaches and clinical decision-making.


      A 30-Item Osteopaths’ Therapeutic Approaches Questionnaire (Osteo-TAQ) was developed using modified verbatim phrases from a published qualitative grounded theory. UK osteopaths were invited to complete the Osteo-TAQ questionnaire. An exploratory factor analysis, using both the principal axis factoring method and principal components method, was performed on the responses.


      132 responses were received. Osteo-TAQ displayed acceptable level of modelling adequacy (χ2(435) = 1466.1, p < 0.001; KMO = 0.754) and internal consistency (α = 0.778). Exploratory analysis identified eight factors with eigenvalues >1, accounting for 63.5% of the variance.


      The Osteo-TAQ identified factors that are congruent with a qualitative grounded theory on osteopaths’ therapeutic approaches. The Osteo-TAQ appeared to have good construct validity with four robust components identified and easily characterised. Further testing for construct validity should be carried out amongst a larger population of osteopaths and outside the UK to test and develop the questionnaire further.


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