Awareness and use of osteopathic physicians in the United States: results of the Second Osteopathic Survey of Health Care in America (OSTEOSURV-II)

J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2003 Jun;103(6):281-9.


The Second Osteopathic Survey of Health Care in America (OSTEOSURV-II), a national telephone survey conducted during 2000 using random-digit dialing, was used to address questions about public awareness of the osteopathic medical profession and use of osteopathic physicians. A total of 499 adult, noninstitutionalized, household respondents were surveyed. The main outcomes included prevalence of and multivariate factors associated with awareness and use of osteopathic physicians. The overall response rate was 64%. The prevalence of awareness, lifetime use, and current use of osteopathic physicians among unscreened respondents was 46%, 16%, and 7%, respectively. Among lifetime users, 84% received primary care; 52%, osteopathic manipulative treatment; and 25%, specialty care. The multivariate factors most strongly associated with awareness of osteopathic physicians were college education (rate ratio [RR], 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.43-2.40), 60 or more years of age (RR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.15-2.01), and Midwest residence (RR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.05-1.84). Nonwhites, including Hispanics, were less likely to be aware of osteopathic physicians (RR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.38-0.76). Respondents with college education (RR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.44-3.79), respondents of intermediate age (RR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.12-2.61), and women (RR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.12-2.52) were more likely to report lifetime use of osteopathic physicians. Nonwhites were less likely to report lifetime use (RR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.11-0.57). Greater promotional efforts are needed to increase awareness of osteopathic medicine and to remove barriers to using osteopathic physicians, particularly among nonwhites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Osteopathic Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • United States / epidemiology