A feasibility study carried out by a US research team suggests that acupuncture offered in a group setting is effective for reducing pain and depression in patients with chronic pain or osteoarthritis. In a non-randomised, quasi-experimental trial, 113 subjects with chronic pain of the neck, back, shoulder, or osteoarthritis of any region, received eight weekly acupuncture therapy sessions in a group setting. Acupuncture therapy included a combination of acupuncture, tui na, gua sha and auricular treatment. The results showed a statistically and clinically significant decrease in pain severity, pain interference and depression in the study population over eight weeks of treatment. This benefit was sustained through follow up at 24 weeks with no additional intervention. The authors conclude that group acupuncture may be considered an effective treatment option for chronic pain, capable of producing clinically relevant and long-lasting pain reduction, in a setting that potentially improves access for patients of a lower socioeconomic status.
Acupuncture Therapy in a Group Setting for Chronic Pain. Pain Med. 2017 Jun 8. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx134. [Epub ahead of print].