Institutional Research

The Research Department has continued to promote and organise research into manual therapy, including osteopathy, publishing research results in academic journals and making these insights more widely available.


The CUTIES trial is a collaboration with the National Council for Osteopathic Research and University College of Osteopathy and follows on from previous research conducted at the ESO.

The aim of this study is to estimate the effectiveness and cost of osteopathic manual therapy in addition to best usual care and advice on crying time in healthy infants who are unduly distressed, unsettled and crying excessively.

We are currently recruiting osteopaths that treat children; If you have 12 months or equivalent post graduate clinical experience and see the equivalent of 1 infant per week then you may be eligible to come on board as a practitioner.

Please contact Professor Dawn Carnes to register interest:

The ESO, in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London, are further developing the Touch Test initiative. This is with a view to build on the national research into peoples’ preferences around touch, to explore how patients seeking a touch-based therapy, such as osteopathy, show certain attitudes and characteristics around tactile contact. The set of questionnaires are currently being finalised with a view to complete Ethics approval.

The aim of this research was to assess the acceptability of using a mobile folding screen for blinding parents of infant study participants in clinical trials of osteopathic interventions. The preliminary data of this acceptability study will inform future randomised controlled trials with infant participants where parental blinding is required. All infants were treated behind a mobile folding screen, so that parents were not aware of group allocation. After a ‘treatment’ period of 20 min, the screen was removed, and parents were asked to fill in an acceptability and blinding success questionnaire. The study is now in the final stage of preparation for submission to the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine.


The link to the Study registration on Clinical can be found here:

This study aims to introduce tablet-based, handheld ultrasound devices as a tool to teach musculoskeletal (MSK) functional anatomy and to improve practitioner skills and student experience in this area. The objectives will be to evaluate the effectiveness of using handheld devices in the first and second year of anatomy education. The project will assess students’ knowledge of functional anatomy before and after the introduction of ultrasound. In addition, student satisfaction and experience will be evaluated around their anatomy teaching. This is a collaboration with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent and has been part-funded by the Medway Learning and Teaching Collaborative Projects Fund 2019-20.

This is a collaboration with the University of Kent exploring the effects of exercise on Parkinson’s Disease. This research aims to study the progression of biomarker levels, physical function, cognition, Quality of Life (QoL) and mood in order to compare their rate of change over time and between people with Parkinson’s Disease, undertaking regular organised exercise, and healthy older adults.

For further details, or indication of participation, please contact: Anna Ferrusola-Pastrana, Email:

This study explores the use of a free Web 2.0 virtual noticeboard, as the basis for an online health community for patients managing their knee pain, offering a pragmatic approach to online self-management tools for this population. The functionality of the platform allows for the uploading and dissemination of materials amongst a select or wider peer-group. This also includes the scope to link to virtual education, provide peer support and allow for self-monitoring of rehabilitation progress to be shared, to encourage and motivate community members. Following a feasibility study, and recent funded Public Patient Involvement activities, the current scope is to develop a randomised control trial using the innovation with patients prior to knee replacement, to explore the effects on knee function, and progression to surgery as a secondary consideration. The constitution of the research team and application for further funding is now underway with the assistance of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).