Investigating the Impact of Acupuncture on Clients' Psychological Distress: a Double Blind, Randomised Control Trial.


  • A. Bennett
  • A. Sochos


Background: Psychological distress is of increasing human and financial cost in a variety of healthcare settings. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of traditional Chinese acupuncture in the treatment of somatised and general psychological distress in a diverse sample. Methods: The study was a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial, utilising a sham acupuncture device. Forty two participants were allocated into either genuine or placebo acupuncture groups. Measures included the eight subscales of the Bradford Somatic Inventory(BSI) and the General Health Questionnaire(GHQ-12). Measurements were taken before and after a five weekly treatments. Findings: Current findings are part of a larger randomised trial of the effects of acupuncture on psychological distress. Significant post-treatment differences were observed between genuine and placebo treatment on all primary outcomes (p<.001). Discussion: Findings suggested that traditional Chinese acupuncture had a significant positive effect on somatised and general psychological distress beyond placebo and may have implications for the treatment of psychologically distressed clients in various health care settings.






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