A randomised controlled trial of acupuncture care for persistent low back pain: cost effectiveness analysis

J Ratcliffe , K J Thomas, H MacPherson, J Brazier

The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of persistent non-specific low back pain.  241 adults aged 18-65 with non-specific low back pain of 4-52 weeks' durationrecieved ten individualised acupuncture treatments over three months from acupuncturists trained in traditional Chinese medicine (n=160) or usual care only (n=81).  The authors conclude that a short course of traditional acupuncture for persistent non-specific low back pain in primary care confers a modest health benefit for minor extra cost to the NHS compared with usual care. Acupuncture care for low back pain seems to be cost effective in the longer term.

BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.38932.806134.7C (published 15 September 2006)

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