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Functional Dyspepsia: Alternative therapy by osteopathy?


Author: Claudia Elsing
Supervisor: Martin Böhm

Background: Today 20% of all patients visiting the general practitioner are suffering of nonspecific and functional body issues, which includes functional dyspepsia. Every year this illness leads to a strong financial burden for the health system due to the fact that it results usually in a chronic course and immensely reduces the quality of life for each patient. The current medicinal therapy is unable to eliminate all symptoms; in addition the drugs show side effects.

Objective: This study investigates whether a twice-applied osteopathy-treatment has a positive effect on any of the diagnosed symptoms of patients with functional dyspepsia; hence, a reduction of medication and an improvement of their overall wellbeing.

Methods: 40 subjects diagnosed with functional dyspepsia were randomly divided into a control and a treatment group. Within the first and the sixth week all subjects were contacted by phone by an independent person. During this call the anamnesis, dyspepsia score and WKV 20 got evaluated. Hereupon 21 subjects received two osteopathy-treatments within two weeks apart and the current medicinal treatment. The control group received the current medicinal treatment through their general practitioner.

Results: In regard to the area of research the statistic analysis of the applied measured parameters results in significant changes. Data from the dyspepsia-score show a distinct improvement (p= 0,04; T(37)= -2,1). In regard to the consumption of medication there is a significant reduction of medication within the treatment group (p= 0,036; Chi2(1)= 4,4). With regards to the overall wellbeing out of WKV 20 a clear positive development of the subjects of the treatment group was measured (p= 0,025; F(1; 37)= 5,5).

Conclusion: The results of this study with high effects with d= 0,94 and significant changes allow the assumption an osteopathy-treatment has a positive impact on the clinical picture of functional dyspepsia with regard to pathology, medication and overall wellbeing. Conclusions about positive long-term effects cannot be made through this study and have to be researched in future studies.