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Acupuncture for chronic pain
  1. John L Handy
  1. Department of Anaesthetics, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 7ET (UK)


    Seventy-four patients having acupuncture for chronic pain were asked to complete a self-appraisal questionnaire and a linear-scale pain score in order to evaluate the efficacy of their treatment. The study revealed that 75% of patients had at least moderate symptom relief in 3 out of 5 parameters. In analysing the differing response of patients with various sites of pain, it was found that 95% of patients with chronic head, neck or arm pain obtained good symptom relief, 85% with migraine or facial pain and 63% with low back pain.

    The response to the questionnaire was compared to the pain score for each patient, and the result was used to assess both the current response and the suitability of that patient for further treatment. It is hoped that this study will form the basis of further audits, in order that acupuncture treatment may be focused on those patients who need it most and who are getting maximum benefit from it.

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