The University of Southampton
Psychology

Research project: Acupuncture for Back Pain: Evaluating Patient Outcomes and Their Determinants

Currently Active: 
Yes

Back pain has severe consequences and affects 36% of the UK population. Acupuncture is a popular and effective back pain treatment, but its mechanism is poorly understood.

Project Overview

Back pain has severe consequences and affects 36% of the UK population. Acupuncture is a popular and effective back pain treatment, but its mechanism is poorly understood. This research develops psychological theory to investigate the determinants of patient outcomes of acupuncture for back pain. The purpose is to improve our understanding of the psychological mechanisms involved. Two linked studies have been conducted, and third is planned.

A prospective postal longitudinal questionnaire study in over 500 patients undergoing acupuncture for back pain identified theoretically grounded psychological predictors of outcome. A nested qualitative interview study has explored patients' experiences of acupuncture. A website is now being designed to alter patients' beliefs about acupuncture and back pain. This work has implications for augmenting acupuncture by attending to patients' illness and treatment perceptions.

Funding: Arthritis Research UK (£300,745)

Related research groups

Primary Care & Population Sciences Academic Units

Staff

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