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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 23, 2019

Efficacy of osteopathic treatment in patients with stable moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized controlled pilot study

  • Andrea Buscemi , Vincenzo Pennisi , Alessandro Rapisarda , Alfio Pennisi and Marinella Coco EMAIL logo



This randomized controlled pilot study evaluated the efficacy of osteopathic treatment in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) assessed using spirometry, COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and six minutes walking test (6MWT). The main goals were to improve the quality of life of patients with stable moderate-to-severe COPD, and to revise the parameters of the assessment tests, such as spirometry and 6MWT.


The study comprised several phases and patients were divided into two groups: group A (controls) received conventional pharmacological treatment with Indacaterol–Glycopyrronium and, while group B (OMT group) received both traditional therapy and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) at different stages of the study. The osteopathic approach focused on maxillary sinus, vertebral-pleural ligaments, phrenic nerves, ribs, pleura, lungs, bronchi, subclavian muscles, and trapezoid and conoid ligaments.


Overall, 32 patients were randomized and treated. Patients of the OMT group got better improvements in all tests compared to the control group: spirometry: FVC (p<0.5411), total FEV1 (p<0.5061); CAT: OMT (p<0.0005) - controls (p<0.188) 6MWT OMT (p<0.0038) - controls (p<0.5326). The clinical results collected in phase (T3) confirm those obtained in the first sessions; the results of CAT questionnaire (p<0.0005) and 6MWT (p<O, OO38) highlighted score improvements of patients treated with osteopathy compared to patients in the other group.


The results showed that the patients with COPD who received the conventional pharmacological treatment in association with the OMT therapy demonstrated a good response to the osteopathic treatment, thus leading to significant improvements in their health and wellbeing, and a better daily functioning.


The study was supported and conducted by a multi-disciplinary team with the collaboration of Centro di Riabilitazione Calaciura, Biancavilla and CSDOI (Centro Studi Osteopatia Italiano) of Catania.

We thank Paolo Desirò DO for his valuable advice, Santi Scirè for having made the model, Jessica Petriliggieri DO for the photography.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

  6. Delaration of interest: All authors state there is no conflicts of interest.


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (DOI:

Received: 2018-07-27
Accepted: 2019-04-02
Published Online: 2019-08-23

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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