Communicating benefit and risk – what the Osteopathic Practice Standards says


A3 Give patients the information they need in a way that they can understand.


  1. Before examining or treating a patient, you should ensure that they understand:
    • Their rights as a patient, including the right to have a chaperone present and to stop the examination or treatment at any time.
    • What they can realistically expect from you as an osteopath (and why their expectations may be unrealistic).
  2. You should inform your patient of any material or significant risks associated with the treatment you are proposing. If you are proposing no treatment, you should explain any risks associated with doing nothing. You should also explain any alternatives to the treatment. The information you provide should focus on the patient’s individual situation and risk to them. You should check that the patient has understood the information you have given.
  3. Using diagrams, models and non-technical language may help to explain particular treatments and risks.
  4. If you propose to examine or treat a patient who has difficulty communicating, you should take all reasonable steps to assist them. For example, make use of an appropriate interpreter if the patient cannot speak your language or relies on signing for communication.

Note also: A1, A4, C7, C8