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A subgroup of World Confederation for Physical Therapy

June 2003


It is with great pleasure that I can report to you, dear colleagues, that IFOMT was reconfirmed as a Subgroup of WCPT at the General Meeting in Barcelona.  I was given the opportunity of addressing the Meeting and gave a brief presentation of our current work.  All the Subgroup presidents were presented with a special badge by Sandra Mercer-Moore, as a token of WCPT’s appreciation for the work we do.

The executive committee had put a program together for the IFOMT session. It consisted of three presentations:

1.         IFOMT, aims vision and mission. Presenter, Agneta Lando.

2.         Evidence Based Practice in Manual Therapy. Presenter, Debra Shirley

3.         Non-Specific Arm Pain. Presenter, Jane Greening.

The third session consisted of a scientific paper, followed by a practical demonstration.

The workshop was extremely well attended with in excess of 500 delegates. This was superb PR for IFOMT.  The IFOMT stand was looked after by the executive members and was very well visited with a host of enquiries regarding the Federation and methods of becoming members.

Executive meetings were held for part of five days, which reflects the amount of activity the committee is involved with. Unfortunately Trudy Rebbeck, vice-president was unable to attend, but close communications with her took place prior to the conference.

The main topics of development on the agenda were:

  • The website
  • Specialisation, process and definition thereof.
  • Assessment procedures for existing member organisation (MO) programs.
  • IFOMT 2004 Conference

The first three of these were also the agenda topics for the closed MO meeting.



The development of the website is on target. We are now at the stage of final decisions of the content. The format has been agreed on through communications between Elaine Maheu and her committee, with a great deal of input by the rest of the executive committee. It is our expectation that the website will be up and running by January 1st 2004. It will provide all who log on with information regarding:           


  • The organisation and how to join
  • Resource centre, containing names of experts in the fields of Education, Clinical Practice and Research in areas pertaining to Manipulative/Musculoskeletal Therapy
  • Clinical Guidelines in all available areas. These will come from our MOs
  • Position statements, again from our MOs
  • The Standards Document
  • Abstracted articles, with references, updated on a regular basis
  • Advertising
  • Linkage to other websites e.g., MO's, WCPT  Research sites (Pedro etc)
  • Many other items still being developed


We feel that this resource will be of major value to all who are interested in Manipulative Physiotherapy e.g. patients, doctors, research workers and various health organisations. No wonder we are more than a little excited!

Marina Wallin and her committee have undertaken the work of defining what constitutes a specialist and how to define OMT. These are complex issues, and the committee is making steady progress drawing on existing sources of information e.g. WCPT –Europe and others. Come to Cape Town and hear more about it.

The development of assessment procedures for existing MO courses has been undertaken in collaboration with all the MO delegates. There will be a proposal for discussion and voting at Cape Town. Why not come and find out how each and every Manual Therapy program, which leads to IFOMT membership, can ensure continued quality outcomes in accordance with IFOMT guidelines.

If you think we are pushing you all to come to The IFOMT conference in Cape Town, March 21-26, 2004, you are quite right. We want to see you all there. The setting is fabulous and the program will be stimulating and of the usual high standard. Start planning NOW!

The executive is involved in a number of other issues, which would take too long to go through in detail in this report. It will be clear to you from the above that the executive is working exceedingly hard and with dedication. In Cape Town there will naturally be some changes to the committee. My sincere wish is that the incoming President is as fortunate as I have been in the forthcoming executive members.

Agneta Lando, IFOMT President





Please keep an eye on the Website: www.uct.ac.za/depts/pgc/  for further information.








  • The recipient must be a manipulative physiotherapist / orthopaedic manual therapist.


  • The recipient must be the principal researcher of a paper published in a refereed journal.  Preference to be given to works published in an International refereed journal.


  • Paper to be relevant to orthopaedic / manual therapy practice.


  • Paper to be first published within the 4 year period preceding the International IFOMT Conference at which the award is presented.


  • The recipient must be a member of an IFOMT Member Organisation.


Selection Criteria:


  • The paper must make a significant contribution to either:
  • Clinical practice of manipulative / manual therapy
  • The base of scientific knowledge supporting the mechanisms, or efficacy, of manipulative / manual therapy.


  • The recipient to be selected by a judging panel, comprising the IFOMT Executive, in conjunction with the IFOMT Educational Standards Committee.  The committee may co-opt specific persons at its discretion to assist in the judging process.  Members of either committee are eligible to present papers for consideration but must be excluded from the judging process if they choose to submit.


  • IFOMT reserves the right not to make an award if there are no suitable applications.


The Award, named ‘David Lamb Memorial Award’:

  • This award will be made once every 4 years.
  • The recipient shall receive:
  • US $1000.00 without obligation
  •   A Certificate of the Award
  • An invitation to present the research in a 40 minute time slot in the plenary session at the next IFOMT Congress. 
  • A free Congress Registration and one ticket to attend the Congress Banquet. 
  • The presentation can be made ‘in absentia’.


Submissions are to be sent to Gwen Jull, Chairperson of the Standards Committee, by 15 September and the results will be notified to applicants by 15th November 2003.     

Gwens’ email is g.jull@shrs.uq.edu.au





The 13th Biennial MPA Conference in 2003 is fast approaching. The conference will be held from 27-30 November at Darling Harbour in Sydney.
Keynote speakers include Associate Professor Gwen Jull, Associate Professor Paul Hodges, Dr Chris Maher and International Keynote speakers to be confirmed. There will also be clinical workshops run by leading researchers and clinicians including Headache Workshop with Gwen Jull, Shoulder Workshop with Mark Jones and Mary Magarey, Patellofemoral Pain Workshop with Jenny McConnell , Tendinopathy Workshop with Jill Cook and Cervical Spine with Duncan Reid. The conference will conclude with a Multidisciplinary Symposium on Neck Pain and Whiplash. For more information visit
www.mpa2003.com  The Asia/West Pacific meeting of IFOMT will be held in conjunction with MPA 2003.



Two groups have applied for membership in DFAMT- after having revised their practical work and curriculum they are accepted from the three groups of DFAMT (AG-MT,DGOMT and DVMT) and after having passed their examination they will get full membership.  The names of the two new groups will be: DFOMT (Deutsche Fachgruppe OMT - German Specialgroup of OMT) and AOMT ( Academy of OMT).  With the help of the two new groups we hope to get input to strengthen the position of OMT in Germany and to promote our issue to get further influence from OMT especially in the newly created higher education programs (bachelor and master degrees), which are actually under way.


Hong Kong

It has been a bit out of our schedules in these 2 months in Hong Kong due to the outbreak of SARS. Workshops and short courses were cancelled and the course organizers, speakers and students had an extra break. We are happy that there has been no disruption in our service to the public during this period. And we should resume our educational activities soon as the situation is settling.

Agnes Chan


New Zealand

The NZMPA biennial conference will be held on 9 & 10 August at the Sheraton Hotel in Auckland. Keynote speakers are Gwen Jull and David Butler, who are both also doing pre and post conference courses.  For further information and the programme, please take a look at our revised website www.nzmpa.org.nz.  We are delighted with the variety and quality of abstracts that have been accepted.



A full time Information Consulent has been employed for 1 year by the Norwegian Manual Therapy group. The role of the consulent will include managing our web side, information through media channels and editing our Manual Therapy information newsletter/ journal. The Annual General Meeting decided to give high priority to this area in the coming year.

The Primary Contact Trial will be concluded this year, and we anticipate a positive end evaluation, as the evaluations during the project have been positive. After the final evaluation the Government will consider the possibility of implementing it throughout the country, for all qualified Manual Therapists.


South Africa

IFOMT 2004
We are revising our budget and hope to be able to offer the Congress to you at a reduced fee. More details to follow as soon as we've received it. Plans for the Congress are progressing well and we are very excited at the prospect of hosting IFOMT 2004.

We are happy to announce that we have updated our Manual Therapy Course to be in line with the new IFOMT Standards Document. The University of Pretoria hope to present the new course commencing February 2003. Interested people can contact Ms Tania van Rooijen at +27 12 354 2023. We hope that the
University of Stellenbosch will be able to present the course in the near future.


Sweden has a new representative for IFOMT Sweden

His name is Johan Liljebäck


The Netherlands

Guideline Manual Therapy on low back pain.

A few years ago, the Dutch Association for Manual Therapy (NVMT) has done research on the patient population of the Dutch manual therapist. It showed that  the main population consisted of patients complaining of low back or cervical pain.

In The Netherlands the Royal Dutch Society for Physiotherapy (KNGF), our parent body organisation, has worked hard on a quality management program by, among other things, developing physiotherapy treatment guidelines.

For the NVMT it was an obvious choice to develop guidelines for the use of manual therapy on low back pain. This guideline was developed by Prof. Dr. Rob Oostendorp and Dr. Erik Hendriks at the NPi, and is based on the latest scientific understandings.

Subdivisions have been made into acute, sub acute and chronic stages. In all stages a differentiation can be made between a normal and an aberrant course of recovery. The manual therapist can make a distinct choice between manual therapy or the use of an approach based more on behaviouristic principles.

The NVMT shall implement this guideline by first distributing it and then offering a course on the use of it to all manual therapists. In addition to this the NVMT is considering to study the actual effect this form of implementation has on the manual therapist when treating patients with low back pain.

Because this guideline is unique in the world, it will be investigated if an English version shall be printed as well.


Congress NVMT – the NVMT is sticking out her neck

On March 14th and 15th 2003, the Dutch Society for Manual Therapy organised her yearly two-day congress. For the third time in succession it was held at the “Koningshof “ venue in Veldhoven. The successful formula of the last two editions was continued upon.

There was a mixture of plenary sessions, parallel sessions and learnshops. The congress committee started the organisation of it almost a year before and they wanted to help the attendees answer the following question: “why does the clinical assessment tend to give us less and less certainty about the possible causes of  the patients complaints? On the basis of clinical assessment alone, no clear-cut conclusions can be drawn. What can help us turn the pretence of certainties into real certainties?”

The subject was tapered to diagnosing and treating cervical complaints. Epidemiological as well as patho-morfological and psycho-social aspects came up for discussion.

The great number of attendees clearly showed that it was a question on most therapists minds.

The first day plenary session were held by Michele Sterling, Anthony Delitto and Jan Lucas Hoving, the latter explained his study published in the British Medical Journal. 900 Manual Therapist and Physiotherapists attended this first day. Besides the four plenary sessions, they also had a choice of 4 different parallel sessions and 9 different learnshops

Friday night there was a party with ”stripes and all-stars” as its theme. About 250 people showed up dressed up in a medley from Blues Brothers, cowboys and Indians, Charlie Chaplin, NBA pro’s and American Football players. Even a walking Statue of Liberty was noticed. Food, drinks and thoughts were shared and some danced all night long.

On the second day the subject was tapered further to Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD). This Saturday 875 attendees came to Veldhoven to listen to, amongst others, Robert Ferrari, John-PaulVader and Rob Oostendorp. This day again 4 parallel sessions and 9 learnshops complemented the four plenary sessions.

During the breaks, coffee, tea and lunches were served in the exposition hall where 26 companies used approximately 350 m2 of space. At the end of the congress we knew for a certainty that 560 litres of beer had been drawn, 1775 slices of cake had been cut, 7100 sandwiches has been prepared, 3000 plates had been put in dishwashers, 300 tablecloths had been soiled and 10.000 cups of coffee had been served. But if our original question, to turn the pretence of certainties into real certainties, had been answered, we do not know for a fact.

Maybe this question can get more of an answer in one of the next congresses that will be held in The Netherlands. Should you want to have an impression of the last congress, please visit the website of the NVMT  www.nvmt.nl A short film of the congress and party can be seen there.


United Kingdom

Continuing Professional Development

The following CPD bursaries are available to all full members of the MACP and many are also available to MACP Associate members. Please see the MACP website for further information.

  • Bursary towards completion of MACP Self Directed Learning Pathway or MSc course (5 X £400 awards / year). This may mostly benefit Associate members, however, this bursary can also be applied for by full members to upgrade their MACP to MSc, or to do a related MSc.
  • Bursary towards completion of Doctorate/ Doctoral level study (2 X £1,000 awards / year). For full members only  
  • Bursary to attend national and international courses / conferences

(3 X £500 awards and 1 X £500 AGM prize / year). For full members only. Please note: for this year only there will be 2 AGM prizes to attend IFOMT in South Africa in 2004. So book your places for the AGM now!

  • Funding to attend courses (20 X £50 awards per year - 5 for Associate Members and 15 for Full Members)


Research into the subclassification of low back pain

A member of the MACP has received UK Department of Health funding to investigate how we, as physiotherapists, subclassify non-specific low back pain. Dr Chris McCarthy who works at the Centre for Rehabilitation science in Manchester (www.crs.man.ac.uk) plans to develop a consensus on the important clinical features to be included in a large scale epidemiological study identifying homogenous subgroups of NSLBP. 

The study has just begun, with an initial forum meeting planned for May this year. Following this meeting of experts in the field, multiple centres across the UK will be recruited to examine 500 NSLBP patients. Data from these examinations will then be analysed using latent class analysis to identify subgroups. Work will also be undertaken to examine the correlations between the physiotherapist's clinical impressions and the identified subgroupings.

If this is an area of interest, or you are currently investigating this area yourself, please contact Chris at christopher.j.mccarthy@man.ac.uk


Accreditation of short courses by the MACP course approval board

Collaboration between the Professional Development Committee (PDC) and the Course Approval Board (CAB) has contributed to the development of a process of accreditation of courses to be marketed and delivered under the MACP 'umbrella'. The process of collaboration highlighted two key reasons for this development:

  1. Ensuring the quality of courses being developed and delivered using the MACP name
  2. Continuing Professional Development of members, by encouraging members to become involved in this process.

The accreditation process

Any member / non member can submit a course for consideration for accreditation by CAB. The required documentation is submitted to the Chair of the CAB. CAB will allocate two scrutineers to consider the documentation for the course. The course will be evaluated against criteria through a process of analysis of the course proposal and Curriculum Vitae of the planned tutor(s). Successful accreditation will remain valid for a period of 3 years, subject to satisfactory course evaluation being considered by CAB. Further advice and guidance on the preparation of a course proposal for consideration by CAB can be obtained through the full document available on the MACP website at macp-online.co.uk or by contacting Alison Rushton, Chair Course Approval Board. Email: a.b.rushton@bham.ac.uk


MACP courses

1.         Anatomy dissection workshop: cervical spine/upper quadrant nerve pathways.

This day will include viewing of cervical spine structures / Muscle / cervicothoracic junction/brachial plexus & upper quadrant interfaces. Dr Greening will present her research findings & the physiology of pain mechanisms underlying non-specific arm pain. The practical workshop sessions will consider the biomechanics of the cervical spine, the thoracic outlet and palpation of the upper limb neural interfaces. The latter will relate to clinical examination and treatment.

Venue: Charing Cross Hospital (London) on 11th JULY 2003.

Cost: Members £65  Non members £75

Enquiries: macp_admin@btinternet.com and details www.macp-online.co.uk

 2.         MACP AGM 2003:

The hip & groin : a neglected region: update on pathologies, examination, research & management.

The programme will include presentations of movement impairment around the hip – theory, examination & treatment (Shirley Sahrmann); the latest surgery & diagnostic procedures e.g. arthroscopy, labral lesions, resurfacing (Mr Villar); circulatory changes in the lower limb (Roger Kerry); groin injuries (differential diagnosis, diagnostic procedures & management - speaker to be confirmed) and rehabilitation (Alex McKechnie). Full details see website.

27th September 2003 at the Centennial Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Enquiries: macp_admin@btinternet.com and details www.macp-online.co.uk

 Alison Rushton

UK IFOMT representative. May 8th 2003.




Icelandic physiotherapy association recently managed after a long debate to get a legislation passed with regard to specialisation in physiotherapy in Iceland. Icelandic physiotherapists can now apply for the status of specialists in the clinical subdivisions of physiotherapy. To be able to apply for status as a specialist you have to have a master´s or doctor´s degree in the relevant subdivision (or comparable education) and you have to have worked at least two years in the field of specialty. If the applicant has not had supervised clinical in his education one of the two years has to be under the supervision of another specialist in the field or in a team work of health workers. Therefore in Iceland we have by now a few OMT specialists, probably 7 altogether. In addition to the academic achievement of getting a status as a specialist the physiotherapist can also charge extra ten percent to the fee for outpatient services.



It’s with great pleasure that the Italian Manual Therapy Group inform that the University Course of “Formazione Avanzata in Terapia Manuale” will be transformed in a University “Master” with the academic start in autumn 2003/2004. “The name of the Master is; “Master in Rehabilitation of Muscoloskeletal Disorders”. The faculty of Medicine of the University of Genoa accepted the transformation in Master the 16 of April 2003. Our colleague, co-ordinator of the course, Marco Testa, who’s struggle, finally gives the Italian physiotherapists a further step towards higher quality especially regarding manual therapy.


Veronica Marchione

(Italian Manual Therapy Group – www.terapiamanuale.it)



11 - 12 - 13 December 2003

Physiotherapy on the Move!

International Congress in Maastricht,

The Netherlands, EUROPE


On behalf of the Executive Board of International Federation of Sports Physiotherapy (IFSP) and the Scientific Congress Committee, I have the honour to present you the announcement of the second International Congress of IFSP, which will be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 11-13 December 2003. This Congress is the unique result of a combined effort among various National and International Physiotherapy Organisations including: International Federation of Sports Physiotherapy (IFSP); the organisation of the yearly congress ‘Research On the Move’ of Maastricht University the Netherlands; International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMT); International Organisation of Physical Therapists In Women’s Health (IOPTWH); Nederlandse Vereniging voor Fysiotherapie in de Sportgezondheidszorg and Nederlandse Vereniging voor Manueel Therapeuten.


IFOMT EC Conference

The European IFOMT Education Committee, will be hosting the congress. IFSP will therefore offer an open EC business meeting to all interested parties during the congress (date and time have still to be set). By this, all individual members of IFOMT will be offered a reduced registration fee.


Thursday 11 December:   ’Innovation In Physiotherapy’

Friday 12 December:                 ‘The Power of an Interdisciplinary Approach in Sports within

Sports Physiotherapy, Women’s Health Physiotherapy and 

Orthopaedic Manual Therapy’

Saturday 13 December:               ‘Overtraining: In Elite Sports Only?’

Program Set up

The Congress will offer a plenary programming along with a variety of different workshops, breakouts and round table sessions. Some of these activities will be offered several times throughout the congress. Registration for the workshops is limited. Early registration is recommended. Each theoretical plenary session will be followed by a presentation pointing out the implications for clinical daily practice.


Target Groups

This international congress is of great interest for all Physiotherapists with special emphasis for those physiotherapists working in the areas of Sports Physiotherapy, Manual Therapy and Women’s Health.


The physiotherapy profession continues to advance through unique and innovative clinical, educational and research ideas. One very strong commitment within the international physiotherapy community is the movement towards evidence based clinical practice. This commitment includes appropriate research designs methodology attuned to the specific characteristics of physiotherapy. Theoretical and fundamental research models, which have historically been derived from such disciplines as psychology, biomechanics, physiology and neurobiology, are currently being tested through applied research in clinical physiotherapy practice. As a result, more rigorous evidence-based research applications in physiotherapy demand more sophisticated measuring instruments and higher level competencies for physiotherapists. Our patient’s ability to freely and directly access of the services of a physiotherapists is another important international topic, demanding greater core competencies for practicing physiotherapists. Collectively, the international physiotherapists community is facing many interesting and important innovations. All of these subjects will be covered in this international congress, in which sports takes an important place with a main focus on interdisciplinary co-operation.



Leading international experts will share the latest insights and scientific and clinical relevant research results with you.


Official Language

English will be the official language during the entire congress programme.



You can register for the congress and book your hotel room through the website of IFSP: www.ifsp.nl



The MECC Convention Centre offers you a royal ambiance for this European congress. The beautiful and historical town of Maastricht is very central situated in Europe and can be reached within 40 minutes from Brussels Airport, or Maastricht Airport Beek, or Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) by city hopper 5 times per day.

Maastricht: The place to be at 11, 12 and 13 December!



World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain, 10 – 13 November 2004

Melbourne, Australia


For further information please log on to the Website: www.worldcongresslbp.com

Best wishes

Vicki Reid     IFOMT Secretariat

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Albany, Auckland 0752