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Conventional and complementary approaches to chronic widespread pain and its comorbidities
  1. Jens Foell
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jens Foell, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, The Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Yvonne Carter Building, 58 Turner Street, London E1 2AB, UK; j.foell{at}qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

The concept of comorbidities as a challenge for healthcare systems has recently been given increasing attention in leading medical journals. Many patients suffering from chronic pain, especially those who are older or poorer, have more than one pathology (multimorbidity) or more than one set of manifestation of one pathology (comorbidity). These patients present a difficult problem in industrialised societies, with services that are highly specialised and compartmentalised. Systematic reviews of interventions for patients of this kind do not mention acupuncture. Acupuncturists claim that their treatment promotes general well-being and can help with multiple symptoms, but evidence for this claim is currently lacking. Longitudinal research with prospective data collection regarding the effect on morbidity burden is needed.

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