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Life + Career Osteopathic Research Research Focus Areas

Research Focus Areas

Broad scope

AOA focuses research in 5 priority areas

Research represents one of the AOA's strategic priorities to help raise visibility of DOs and osteopathic medicine.

In 2017, the AOA awarded more than $1 million in grant funding for research projects that demonstrate the value osteopathic physicians offer patients and the greater health care community. The grants support five research focus areas outlined below.


Chronic Diseases & Conditions

Research focuses on the effect of osteopathic medicine on prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment of chronic diseases & conditions. More specifically, the AOA encourages research on common chronic diseases with high public health impact and for which “osteopathic” approaches can lead to improvements in patient outcomes and reduction in health care costs.

Musculoskeletal Injuries & Prevention

Research focuses on the influence of osteopathic medicine on management of musculoskeletal injuries and prevention.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

Research examines the impact of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) (e.g., evaluation of the benefits of OMM & OMT on validated and clinical outcomes, describing the underlying basic science of OMM and OMT and its impact on patient outcomes).

Osteopathic Philosophy

Research explores the impact of osteopathic philosophy on physician training, patient health outcomes, quality of care, communication, system utilization, and patient satisfaction.

Pain Management

Research focuses on the osteopathic approach to chronic pain management (patient outcomes, enrich quality of life and demonstrate cost effectiveness).

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