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Informing patients about acupuncture

Award Details

  • Principal Investigator
    Dr Felicity Bishop
  • Type of grant
    Research Progression Award
  • Amount Awarded
  • Institute
    University of Southampton
  • Location
  • Status
  • Start Date
  • Grant reference number
  • Condition
    Back pain

What are the aims of this research?

The aim of this project is to firstly produce an accessible and scientifically accurate webpage for patients about acupuncture and to then determine whether this webpage alters patients' beliefs about acupuncture.

Why is this research important?

Back pain is a common condition with high personal, social, and economic costs to individuals, their families and society in general. There is no single treatment that cures back pain in all patients and current strategies focus on finding a good 'fit' between individual patients and specific treatments as well as improving the effectiveness of existing therapies.

Clinical trials show that acupuncture can benefit people with back pain, reducing their pain and disability. Previous work has shown that people who had positive beliefs about acupuncture at the start of treatment were less disabled after receiving treatment. Specific concerns were also identified which led people to have less positive beliefs about acupuncture. This project will design and test a webpage that provides patient-centred and accessible information about acupuncture and addresses common concerns about this treatment such as whether it will hurt and whether it will work. The website will then be tested to see if it changes people’s beliefs about acupuncture.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Maximising the effectiveness of acupuncture could enhance patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. If it proves successful, this webpage could be adapted and made available to the public, therefore reaching a large population of people with back pain and providing them with treatment-enhancing information about acupuncture.

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