Research: KERR and colleagues, R

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KERR and colleagues, Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, have studied the use of acupuncture in physiotherapy .


The researchers attempted to determine the current use of acupuncture as a pain-relieving modality within physiotherapy.


This was a two-phase study. In the first phase, the records of 599 patients who had attended an outpatient physiotherapy department over a period of 2 years were studied ; in the second phase, a patient survey was conducted amongst 200 outpatients who had received acupuncture from outpatient physiotherapy .


Acupuncture appeared to have been used in patients with spinal pain and soft-tissue injuries of peripheral joints as a secondary form of treatment where other modalities failed, rather than being used for best effect . Despite this, 60% of respondents (78% of those surveyed responded) reported pain relief following the acupuncture; in 31% this lasted to the time of the survey. 80% stated that they had achieved sufficient pain relief to be able to carry out daily activities at home, and 57% were able to work . 94% of respondents were either 'very satisfied' or 'satisfied' with their treatment .


The authors concluded that further research was necessary to adequately assess the efficacy of acupuncture as a pain-relief measure in physiotherapy.


Kerr DP, Walsh DM, Baxter GD. A study of the use of acupuncture in physiotherapy. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 9 (1):21-7. Mar 2001.

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