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What is traditional acupuncture--exploring goals and processes of treatment in the context of women with early breast cancer.

Price S, Long AF, Godfrey M - BMC Complement Altern Med (2014)

Bottom Line: This process was carefully managed by the practitioners and the resultant therapeutic relationship was highly valued by the women.A good therapeutic relationship was not simply something valued by patients but explicitly used by practitioners to aid disclosure which in turn affected details of the treatment.The therapeutic relationship was therefore a vital and integral part of the treatment process.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: The Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 5ST, UK. info@sarah-price.co.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite the increasing popularity of acupuncture, there remains uncertainty as to its effectiveness and how it brings about change. Particular questions are posed over whether acupuncture research has sufficient model validity and reflects acupuncture as practised. Exploring traditional acupuncture (TA) in practice should help to expose processes essential to the theory of TA. The aim of this study was to examine what TA practitioners aim to achieve, their rationale and how they follow this through in their practice.

Methods: A longitudinal study of TA for women with early breast cancer (EBC) was performed. Study participants comprised 14 women with EBC and two experienced TA practitioners, all taking part in in-depth interviews, conducted before and after receipt of up to 10 treatment sessions, and analysed using grounded theory methods. Additional data came from practitioner treatment logs and diaries.

Results: Practitioners sought long-term goals of increasing strength and enabling coping as well as immediate relief of symptoms. They achieved this through a continuous process of treatment, following through the recursive and individualized nature of TA and adjusted, via differential diagnosis, to the rapidly fluctuating circumstances of individual women. Establishing trust and good rapport with the women aided disclosure which was seen as essential in order to clarify goals during chemotherapy. This process was carefully managed by the practitioners and the resultant therapeutic relationship was highly valued by the women.

Conclusion: This study provided insight into the interdependent components of TA helping to demonstrate the multiple causal pathways to change through the continuous process of new information, insights and treatment changes. A good therapeutic relationship was not simply something valued by patients but explicitly used by practitioners to aid disclosure which in turn affected details of the treatment. The therapeutic relationship was therefore a vital and integral part of the treatment process.

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The continuous interlinking processes of TA delivery.
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Figure 1: The continuous interlinking processes of TA delivery.

Mentions: Different dimensions of the TA treatment were encompassed by this continuous process. The practitioners spent time explaining how gathering information was crucial to the differential diagnosis (Bian Zheng), a core part of TCM practice. The practitioners both explained that developing a good therapeutic relationship was critical in order to get as much information as possible, to see the whole person in the context of their lives, and to understand their needs and concerns. The acupuncturists relied on disclosure undertaken via developing this relationship, enabling a continuous process of new information, new insight and understanding and changed treatment (see Figure 1). TA ‘worked’ through the process of diagnosis and on-going disclosure (both backward and forward looking) facilitated by the therapeutic relationship, leading onto new practitioner insights assisting them to reform/modify their diagnosis and change the treatment.


What is traditional acupuncture--exploring goals and processes of treatment in the context of women with early breast cancer.

Price S, Long AF, Godfrey M - BMC Complement Altern Med (2014)

The continuous interlinking processes of TA delivery.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230017&req=5

Figure 1: The continuous interlinking processes of TA delivery.
Mentions: Different dimensions of the TA treatment were encompassed by this continuous process. The practitioners spent time explaining how gathering information was crucial to the differential diagnosis (Bian Zheng), a core part of TCM practice. The practitioners both explained that developing a good therapeutic relationship was critical in order to get as much information as possible, to see the whole person in the context of their lives, and to understand their needs and concerns. The acupuncturists relied on disclosure undertaken via developing this relationship, enabling a continuous process of new information, new insight and understanding and changed treatment (see Figure 1). TA ‘worked’ through the process of diagnosis and on-going disclosure (both backward and forward looking) facilitated by the therapeutic relationship, leading onto new practitioner insights assisting them to reform/modify their diagnosis and change the treatment.

Bottom Line: This process was carefully managed by the practitioners and the resultant therapeutic relationship was highly valued by the women.A good therapeutic relationship was not simply something valued by patients but explicitly used by practitioners to aid disclosure which in turn affected details of the treatment.The therapeutic relationship was therefore a vital and integral part of the treatment process.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: The Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 5ST, UK. info@sarah-price.co.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite the increasing popularity of acupuncture, there remains uncertainty as to its effectiveness and how it brings about change. Particular questions are posed over whether acupuncture research has sufficient model validity and reflects acupuncture as practised. Exploring traditional acupuncture (TA) in practice should help to expose processes essential to the theory of TA. The aim of this study was to examine what TA practitioners aim to achieve, their rationale and how they follow this through in their practice.

Methods: A longitudinal study of TA for women with early breast cancer (EBC) was performed. Study participants comprised 14 women with EBC and two experienced TA practitioners, all taking part in in-depth interviews, conducted before and after receipt of up to 10 treatment sessions, and analysed using grounded theory methods. Additional data came from practitioner treatment logs and diaries.

Results: Practitioners sought long-term goals of increasing strength and enabling coping as well as immediate relief of symptoms. They achieved this through a continuous process of treatment, following through the recursive and individualized nature of TA and adjusted, via differential diagnosis, to the rapidly fluctuating circumstances of individual women. Establishing trust and good rapport with the women aided disclosure which was seen as essential in order to clarify goals during chemotherapy. This process was carefully managed by the practitioners and the resultant therapeutic relationship was highly valued by the women.

Conclusion: This study provided insight into the interdependent components of TA helping to demonstrate the multiple causal pathways to change through the continuous process of new information, insights and treatment changes. A good therapeutic relationship was not simply something valued by patients but explicitly used by practitioners to aid disclosure which in turn affected details of the treatment. The therapeutic relationship was therefore a vital and integral part of the treatment process.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus