Patients with anorexia nervosa receiving acupuncture or acupressure; their view of the therapeutic encounter

Fogarty, Sarah, Smith, Caroline A., Touyz, Stephen, Madden, Sloane, Buckett, Geoffrey, and Hay, Phillipa (2013) Patients with anorexia nervosa receiving acupuncture or acupressure; their view of the therapeutic encounter. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 21 (6). pp. 675-681.

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Background: Anorexia nervosa is a serious illness with significant morbidity. The evidence base for existing psychological and pharmacological interventions to manage anorexia nervosa is not strong, and use of new adjunctive therapies that improve the effectiveness of existing treatments, and lead to improved mental health outcomes for this patient group is highly desirable. This study investigates the views of patients with anorexia nervosa receiving an acupuncture or acupressure intervention.

Method: A randomised controlled trial was conducted in Sydney, Australia. Twenty-six inpatients with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa were randomised to a six week intervention of acupuncture or acupressure with light massage. Treatment was administered twice weekly for three weeks, then weekly for three weeks. A post treatment questionnaire was administered to explore participant views, of the study consultation. Questions examined important aspects of the clinical encounter including the, patient's perception of the practitioners' relational empathy (CARE), treatment perceptions and the, therapeutic relationship.

Results: Participants in both groups scored highly on the CARE scale assessing empathy and the, therapeutic relationship. There was no difference in the mean CARE scores for the acupuncture group (50 (SD 0.0)) and the acupressure group (49.5 (SD 0.8)). Participants highly valued the therapeutic, encounter and in particular the characteristics of empathy, positive regard, acceptance, non, judgemental responses and trust. Having someone to talk to, being less stressed/relaxed and contact, with the study staff were also perceived to be important.

Conclusion: Study participants perceive the therapeutic relationship and empathy as important qualities of the acupuncture or acupressure intervention as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of anorexia nervosa.

Item ID: 32072
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6963
Keywords: acupuncture; anorexia nervosa; therapeutic relationship
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2014 00:07
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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