JOURNAL ARTICLE

Determinants for receiving acupuncture for LBP and associated treatments: a prospective cohort study

Jean-François Chenot, Annette Becker, Corinna Leonhardt, Stefan Keller, Norbert Donner-Banzhoff, Erika Baum, Michael Pfingsten, Jan Hildebrandt, Michael M Kochen, Heinz-Dieter Basler
BMC Health Services Research 2006, 6: 149
17112374

BACKGROUND: Acupuncture is a frequently used but controversial adjunct to the treatment of chronic low back pain (LBP). Acupuncture is now considered to be effective for chronic LBP and health care systems are pressured to make a decision whether or not acupuncture should be covered. It has been suggested that providing such services might reduce the use of other health care services. Therefore, we explored factors associated with acupuncture treatment for LBP and the relation of acupuncture with other health care services.

METHODS: This is a post hoc analysis of a longitudinal prospective cohort study. General practitioners (GPs) recruited consecutive adult patients with LBP. Data on physical function, subjective mood and utilization of health care services was collected at the first consultation and at follow-up telephone interviews for a period of twelve months.

RESULTS: A total of 179 (13 %) out of 1,345 patients received acupuncture treatment. The majority of those (59 %) had chronic LBP. Women and elderly patients were more likely to be given acupuncture. Additional determinants of acupuncture therapy were low functional capacity and chronicity of pain. Chronic (vs. acute) back pain OR 1.6 (CL 1.4-2.9) was the only significant disease-related factor associated with the treatment. The strongest predictors for receiving acupuncture were consultation with a GP who offers acupuncture OR 3.5 (CL 2.9-4.1) and consultation with a specialist OR 2.1 (CL 1.9-2.3). After adjustment for patient characteristics, acupuncture remained associated with higher consultation rates and an increased use of other health care services like physiotherapy.

CONCLUSION: Receiving acupuncture for LBP depends mostly on the availability of the treatment. It is associated with increased use of other health services even after adjustment for patient characteristics. In our study, we found that receiving acupuncture does not offset the use of other health care resources. A significant proportion of patients who received did not meet the so far only known selection criterion (chonicity). Acupuncture therapy might be a reflection of helplessness in both patients and health care providers.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
17112374
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"