Babies sought for CUTIES trial

Osteopath Julie Hjorth with 10-week-old baby Jack. (Damjan Janevski) 228808_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Babies are being sought for a study to assess the effectiveness of osteopathic care in reducing crying in colicky infants.

Williamstown osteopath Julie Hjorth is among a handful of practitioners from across Australia, the UK and Switzerland chosen for the Crying Unsettled disTressed Infants Effectiveness Study – the CUTIES trial.

The study is being run by the University College of Osteopathy in London in conjunction with Southern Cross University.

Ms Hjorth has been a qualified osteopath for 10 years and a clinical supervisor and sessional lecturer in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University since 2016.

She said the study was a ‘superiority trial’ to see if standard osteopathic treatment showed a more significant reduction in crying time of colicky babies than light touch.

Now, she is seeking to recruit babies from across Victoria.

“We need infants that are between one and 10 weeks old when the study starts,” she said.

“The main criteria is they need to be unsettleable, like crying and unsettled, for at least three hours a day for at least three days in the one week.

“We will have them in for up to four consults over a two-week period.

“In the meantime, the parents will be taking a ‘crying diary’, so we’ll give them a diary to fill out at home, which will [record] how many minutes the infant’s crying each day.”

The parent will not know until after the two weeks if their infant received targeted tension release (standard osteopathic care) or generic tension release (light touch).

“There have already been pilot studies that show some benefit to having hands-on therapy to nothing,” Ms Hjorth said.

“Now, we’re seeing if osteopathic-specific treatment actually makes a difference compared to just general touch.

“The results will help parents in the future decide what treatments are best for their babies.”

The study is free.

Details: Julie Hjorth, and 0415 412 500.