John Smartt Osteopath
Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy) Master of Osteopathy (UWS)

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Collected Scientific Research Relating to the Use of Osteopathy with Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


1) Osteopathy involves helping people's own self-healing abilities to work better, rather that focussing primarily on particular conditions.

2) Each person is different, and osteopathy treats them differently.

Therefore people respond to osteopathic treatment in different ways. Treatments that work for one person cannot be guaranteed to work for another person in the same way. The fact that there is scientific research supporting a treatment in a group of people does not mean that it will always work in the same way (which is probably true of all research).

Please note: there is room for debate about the classifications used for these studies. Please let John Smartt know if you believe that any of these classifications are incorrect.

These studies are from peer-reviewed journals Number of studies: 2

Clinically and statistically significant results Number of studies: 2

Randomised controlled trials Number of studies: 1

Accorsi A, Lucci C, Di Mattia L, Granchelli C, Barlafante G, Fini F, Pizzolorusso G, Cerritelli F, Pincherle M 2014 Effect of osteopathic manipulative therapy in the attentive performance of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Osteopath Assoc May;114(5):374 -81

"Children aged 5 to 15 years with a primary diagnosis of ADHD who were admitted to a single neuropsychiatry unit from November 2008 to September 2009 were randomly assigned to an intervention group (OMTh [osteopathic manipulative therapy] + conventional care) or a control group (conventional care only). Biancardi-Stroppa Modified Bell Cancellation Test accuracy and rapidity scores were recorded for both groups at baseline and after 10 weeks. Statistical analyses included univariate tests and multivariate linear regressions."

"Multivariate linear regression showed that OMTh was positively associated with changes in the Biancardi-Stroppa Test accuracy (β=7.948 points; P=.04) and rapidity (β=9.089 points; P=.03) scores."

"Participants who received OMTh had greater improvement in Biancardi-Stroppa Test scores than participants who received conventional care only, suggesting that OMTh can potentially increase performances of selective and sustained attention in children with ADHD."

Case series Number of studies: 1

Alcantara J, Davis J 2010 The chiropractic care of children with attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a retrospective case series. Explore (NY) May-Jun;6(3):173-82

"Retrospective case series were reviewed."

"Our review found four patient files satisfying the inclusion criteria. All patients were males, ranging in age from nine to 13 years (mean age, 10 years), with three patients having a history of medication use and two patients having prescribed medication at the start of chiropractic care. Using a 15-item parent/teacher ADHD questionnaire, the patients' responses to chiropractic care were monitored. Using the Friedman test to compare observations repeated on the same subjects, our findings found improvement in ADHD symptoms (ie, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness, as well as behavioral, social, or emotional difficulties) and provide supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic in the treatment of children with ADHD

CONCLUSION: A retrospective case series of ADHD patients under chiropractic care is described. This provides supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. We encourage further research in this area."

These studies are not published in peer- reviewed journals

Clinically and statistically significant results

Other controlled clinical trials

Hubmann B 2006 The influence of osteopathy on ADHD. Donau Universität Krems: PhD Thesis; adhd-osteopathic-research

"The results of my study show that osteopathy has a positive influence on ADHD symptoms."