The aim of this randomised controlled trial was to investigate the possible influence of attitudes towards and knowledge of acupuncture on treatment outcome. A total of 41 pain patients acted as the subjects in the study and 25 of them completed a semi-structured interview prior to treatment. This included the Shod Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, questions regarding the source of patients' information on acupuncture, their preparation for treatment and a knowledge and attitude questionnaire. The remaining 16 subjects received only the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire. All subjects again completed the pain questionnaire approximately one week following their last acupuncture session. Discussing attitudes and views prior to treatment was not found to have any effect on outcome. Subjects were revealed to have low knowledge scores, but mainly positive attitudes towards acupuncture treatment. Almost two thirds of the sample felt inadequately prepared for their treatment. Statistical analysis disclosed that neither attitudes nor knowledge influenced response to acupuncture.
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