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Journal of Integrative Medicine: Volume 11, 2013   Issue 1,  Pages: 26-31

DOI: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013005
Research Article
Acceptability of an acupuncture intervention for geriatric chronic pain: an open pilot study
1. Marie-France Couilliot (Public Health Department, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France E-mail: marie-france.couilliot@rmb.aphp.fr)
2. Véronique Darees (Palliative Care, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France )
3. Gérard Delahaye (Public Health Department, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France )
4. Philippe Ercolano (Public Health Department, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France )
5. Maud Carcaillé (Public Health Department, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France )
6. Pavla Vytopilova (Public Health Department, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France )
7. Bruno Tenenbaum (Public Health Department, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France )
8. Eric Vicaut (Unité de Recherche Clinique, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire SLS-LRB, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, 75001 Paris, France )

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the acceptability and effectiveness of acupuncture for persistent musculoskeletal pain in the elderly and assessed the conditions for a future controlled trial.

METHODS: A total of 60 patients, hospitalized in a geriatric hospital were enrolled. The intervention consisted of eight acupuncture sessions. The main outcome was the patient’s participation rate. Regarding pain, the evaluation was based on pre- and post-treatment variations. As a high proportion of the patients had cognitive impairment, the behavioral pain scale DOLOPLUS-2 was chosen although self evaluation was used wherever possible.

RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 83 years. The acceptance rate was very high (89.6%) and 90% of the patients completed the entire course of treatment. After five weeks, the mean DOLOPLUS score had decreased significantly (P<0.01). The patients reported improved sleep quality and a reduction in their anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, caregivers noticed a decrease in patient aggressiveness making care easier.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that acupuncture is highly acceptable and could be very useful in the management of chronic pain when performed in very old frail people with chronic physical and mental disability.

TRIAL REGISTRATION IDENTIFIER: NCT01043692 ClinicalTrials.gov.

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Please cite this article as:
Couilliot MF, Darees V, Delahaye G, Ercolano P, Carcaillé M, Vytopilova P, Tenenbaum B, Vicaut E. Acceptability of an acupuncture intervention for geriatric chronic pain: an open pilot study. J Integr Med. 2013; 11(1): 26-31.
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