Course Title: Osteopathic Diagnosis And Practice 9

Part A: Course Overview

Course ID: 007368

Course Title: Osteopathic Diagnosis And Practice 9

Credit Points: 8

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr Margaret Matthews

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7230

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.5.12

Course Coordinator Availability: On campus Tuesday and Friday

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

The study of the previous four years of the osteopathy program is a pre-requisite and assumed knowledge for this course.

Course Description

In this course in the fifth year of the osteopathic program, students are being intensely prepared for entrance to independent clinical practice. The modules integrate the clinical diagnostic study of previous years. The student is exposed to scenarios they are likely to encounter in practice, emphasising signs and symptoms that would warrant referral and the psychosocial aspects of patient management. The modules in ‘Speciality Technique’ and ‘Osteopathy in the Cranial Field’ expand the students’ theoretical and practical knowledge of the breadth and scope of osteopathy. They extend the students’ developing understanding of the osteopathic approach to a broad range of patient conditions. The acquisition of skills in these advanced osteopathic techniques continues to refine the students’ palpatory ability and their understanding and practice of osteopathic technique.

This course supports the student’s developing patient care responsibilities in the on-campus teaching clinic. It assists the students develop rational treatment plans for more complex patient presentations.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course assists in the following capability development:

Functional Capability
The capability to be able to:
1. diagnose the patient’s clinical presentation
2. perform osteopathic manipulative therapeutic procedures effectively, where appropriate
3. apply management strategies in order to produce positive outcomes for patients
4. contribute to professional practice through clinical research
Capability to:
1. the appropriate knowledge as a basis for understanding the scientific literature in manual medicine and related fields and the ability to put this understanding into effective use
2. locate, critically evaluate, manage and use a range of information
3. knowledge of when to refer the patient for other medical intervention
The capability to:
1. adopt appropriate behaviours in dealing with patients’ concerns, including socially and ethnically sensitive communication skills and empathy
2. engage personally with a body of knowledge by ongoing learning, reflection and analysis and to implement best practice evidence-base practice where the evidence exists
3. working independently or as part of the team in a multi-disciplinary setting
The capability to:
1. engage in ethical clinical practice
2. make sound judgements, evidenced-based where possible, in order to show duty of care to patients

Learning Outcomes/Objectives

This course aims to:
Integrate the diagnostic study of earlier years of the program in the light of the students’ own experiences in clinic
Assist in the development of rational treatment and management planning for more complex patient conditions
Continue the development of general practice skills by discussing common issues confronting health care practitioners
Expand the scope of practice available to the student by introducing specialised areas of practice
Further develop osteopathic practical skills and consolidate and refine osteopathic techniques taught in the semester and years prior

Speciality Technique
The aim of this module is to provide osteopathic students with the necessary clinical knowledge to competently assess and make clinical decisions in relation to the health care of patients, presenting with the manifestations of disease. Students will be able to evaluate diagnostic data to determine indications and contraindications to osteopathic care and the need to refer when necessary.
Students are introduced to techniques that allow them to address a wide range of disease states. These modules expand the students’ theoretical and practical knowledge of the breadth and scope of osteopathy. They extend the students’ developing understanding of the osteopathic approach to a broad range of patient conditions. The acquisition of skills in these advanced osteopathic techniques continues to refine the students’ palpatory ability and their understanding and practice of osteopathic technique; and serves as the basis for continuation into post-professional training in speciality areas

Osteopathy in the cranial field
This module aims to allow the student to:
1. appreciate the historical background of the development of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF);
2. appreciate this approach as part of the expanding osteopathic concept;
3. experience the cranial approach as an integrated part of osteopathy;
4. learn about the practical application of the cranial approach as something that since the 1930ties has been used in osteopathic practice with much success;
5. appreciate the relevance of the embryologic development of the human within the field of osteopathy;
6. allow the students to perceive the integrated functioning of the head with the body through review and expansion of the concepts of the postural-structural model, the respiratory-circulatory model, the neurological model and the neuro-endocrine approach to the body.
7. develop an understanding of the principles and theory of the cranial concept in relation to relevant research in the area;
8. develop an understanding of the principles and theory of the cranial concept in relation to its application in clinical practice, including an understanding of the principles and theory of the cranial concept and its pertinent anatomy and physiology;
9. review common criticisms ( to inform the student of relevant research and to encourage future research as to the verification of common criticisms raised relating to the anatomico-physiological mechanisms thought to be effective in the clinical application of osteopathic techniques in the cranial field;
10. develop palpatory skills to identify osteopathic somatic dysfunctions in relation to involuntary motion;
11. be able to recognise and identify clinical conditions in patients suitable for treatment involving techniques working with involuntary motion;
12. gain the ability to successfully palpate for the commonly described strain patterns in OCF; and
13. be educated in the safe application of techniques involving the process of self-correction in relation to specific disturbances of involuntary motion.

Overview of Learning Activities

These modules consist of integrated lecture and supervised practical classes

Lecture time is used to develop the concepts and theory of osteopathic treatment to specific areas such as the cranial field and to integrate the study of previous years, enabling competence in clinical diagnosis and treatment and management planning. Lecture time is also available for discussion of cases and problems students are encountering in the teaching clinics to support their developing role as a primary contact health care practitioner

Supervised Practical
Practical time is used in developing the ability to perform advanced and refined osteopathic technique. This includes the development of both the motor and palpatory skills required for competent osteopathic practice.

Study Questions guide self directed learning and review for these modules.

Overview of Learning Resources

Reference texts, the library, the internet and lecturing staff.
Resin and plastic disarticulated skulls are available for study purposes.

Overview of Assessment

The Osteopathic Unit has special requirements regarding assessment. In all osteopathy courses, students are examined for both their theoretical understanding and for their development of competence in osteopathic technique.
Students must obtain a passing grade in both the theoretical and practical examinations of each module of this course. The practical and theoretical assessments of a module are counted as separate assessment components in the course.
In order to obtain a passing grade (50%) in practical assessment, students must demonstrate competence in seventy-five percent of any clinical procedures examined.
Attendance Requirements:
In order to prevent potential injury to participants in practical examinations students must attend 90% of all osteopathic technique practical classes. Students who attend less than 90% of classes will be required to do make up work as directed by the supervising lecturer. Students who attend less than 70% of classes will not be eligible to sit practical examinations and will fail the course. Students who have an injury that prevents them from participating in practical classes, e.g. a broken arm, must attend classes and observe

At the discretion of the osteopathic unit exam board, students who fail to satisfy the requirements of the examiners in any assessment component(s) of a course may be:
a) Allowed to sit further assessment in the relevant assessment component(s)
b) Granted a supplementary examination in the whole course
c) Awarded a failing grade for the course
In practical exams with single examiners all students with marks below the passing grade will be eligible for further assessment.
A student who successfully completes further assessment in an assessment component(s) of a course can only be awarded half the allocated marks for that assessment component(s).
Students will be contacted by email if they are eligible for further assessment in a module. Further assessment is held in or prior to the week following the scheduled examination period.  It is each student’s responsibility to regularly check his or her RMIT email address. Students’ RMIT email can automatically be forwarded to another email address, but it remains the student’s responsibility to ensure they regularly access their RMIT account and are certain that they are receiving RMIT official email.

Students with disabilities may request different forms of assessment if required. Any such requests must be made at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled assessment.
Submission dates are included in the individual module outlines. Students are requested to take particular note of the completion dates for assignments, as penalties for late submission will apply. Late submissions will be automatically penalised. Extensions may be available at the discretion of the lecturer concerned and dependent upon the circumstances of the request.
All assignments must be handed in with a completed “Cover Sheet for Submission of Individual or Group Assignments”. This document is handed out with the current Student Guide.
“Assessment review:
If you require an assessment review you should apply, in writing, to the course or year level coordinator within two weeks of the date of official publication of the result.
Attendance Requirements:
In order to meet external professional requirements, students are required to attend at least 90% of all practical sessions and workshops and to undertake make-up work if attendance falls below this level. See current Student Guide for more information.

Each module in this course contributes 50% towards the final grade for REHA1087 Osteopathic Diagnosis and Practice 9
Specialitiy Technique (Introduction to BOCF) Integrated practical and theory classes Dr Ray Myers
Treatment approaches (OCF)  Integrated practical and theory classes Dr. M Matthews