Evidence Based Practice for Osteopathy aims to contextualize the role of evidence and research in manual therapy. Students are able to investigate the applicability of qualitative and quantitative research approaches through a deeper examination of what these approaches offer. The process of research is introduced with an emphasis on ethical considerations of manual therapy research involving patients and other stakeholders.

Unit details

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Unit code:


HRE1000 - Evidence and Research

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Compare quantitative and qualitative research approaches for manual therapy  
  2. Review quantitative research designs for manual therapy  
  3. Report on the ethical considerations of research in manual therapy  
  4. Discriminate sources of bias that confound the interpretation of study outcomes  
  5. Contrast the levels of evidence used to justify healthcare interventions  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Ten minute presentation on research design and key features of a paper 15%
Presentation Ten minute presentation on ethics in research 15%
Report Report on sources of bias in a paper 20%
Examination Written examination (computer based) 50%
90% attendance is required at tutorial, practical and workshop classes in the osteopathic program as part of accreditation requirements. The tutorial activities in this unit are interactive and students are able to seek feedback from the tutor on meeting the learning outcomes and planning for assessment tasks.

Required reading

Students will be provided with an up-to-date reading list via the VU Collaborate system.

Evidence-Based Medicine. How to Practice and Teach EBM. 5th
Straus S et al. (2018)
London: Elsevier

Designing Clinical Research 4th
Hulley SB et al. (2013)
Philadelphia: Lippincott, William & Wilkins

An ethical framework for complementary and alternative therapists 1st
Stone J (2002)
London: Routledge.

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