Ear acupuncture for hot flushes—The perceptions of women with breast cancer

Hot flushes and night sweats are some of the unpleasant side effect experienced by many women undergoing hormonal treatment for breast cancer.  This study explored whether ear acupuncture delivered in small group clinics could be used to effectively manage these symptoms.

The study utilised qualitative research methods to elicit the opinions of women receiving this treatment.  16 women took part in three focus groups, discussing a range of topics including reasons for joining the study, the experience of having acupuncture, effects of the treatment, the possible reasons for these, and their experience of group treatments.  Transcripts were analysed using grounded techniques.

The women had all been experiencing chronic multiple flushes and sweats, and found the acupuncture helpful and relaxing.  Many of the group reported reductions in hot flush frequency, as well as improvements in overall emotional and physical well being.  The group setting of the treaments was also seen to be supportive and encouraging.

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2007) Article in Press – Corrected Proof

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