The ORCNZ project is devoted principally to the primary care of patients, affiliated with academic and professional organisations in order to investigate questions related to community based practice. One of the key strengths of the ORCNZ project is its ability to facilitate many collaborations between and across researchers and practitioners as well as the employment of a wide range of research approaches and methods to answer a diverse range of related yet distinct questions including:

  • How cost-efficient is Osteopathy?
  • How much do patients spend on their Osteopathy care (alongside other care)?
  • To what extent is affordability a factor in patient decision-making regarding osteopathy?
  • How effective is osteopathy and what range of benefits do patients gain from their osteopathic care?
  • What is the safety and risk of osteopathic care?
  • What influences patient decision-making regarding¬†osteopathy consultations and follow-up care?


The project is designed to address a broad range of research questions of clinical and practice significance. The practice/practitioner-based nature of the design ensures the research is closely linked to and reflects New Zealand grass-roots osteopathy practice.The project is inherently inclusive and expansive with opportunities for all within the osteopathy practice and research community to engage and co-research via secondary analysis, initiating new sub-studies and/or utilising the program as a national recruitment resource. ______________________________________________________________________________

The project will establish a sustainable database for ongoing osteopathy empirical investigation and research development its focus and output will be of practice and policy benefit and will provide excellent promotion opportunities for osteopathy in relation to external stakeholders including policymakers and government. As well as this, the ORCNZ PBRN helps to address issues of disconnect between research activity and practice reality that is often experiences in health care research. This Network has been designed to to ensure the research questions and analyses produced are grounded in and therefore are sensitive to the realities of daily routine care. This project is ideally matched to the current research needs of New Zealand Osteopathy, and in particular, offers a broad focus essential to establishing a national, coordinated of evidence critical to informing further detailed, specific sub-studies. This is particularly important for New Zealand and worldwide Osteopathy given the current lack of information around daily care, clinical activity and other important issues. Significantly, such coordinated platform evidence is also vital to contextualising and strengthening the impact of clinically-focused investigations, effectively helping bridge the gap between findings from clinical trials and other related designs and the realities of practitioner’s everyday care.


The broad research focus of a PBRN design allows the ORCNZ project to accommodate and address investigations of a vast number of issues important to osteopaths, the profession, patients and the New Zealand health care system more generally. The ORCNZ project design will accommodate both qualitative and quantitative research and examination of the efficacy, effectiveness, safety and cost evaluation of aspects of osteopathy.