Acupuncture in the Treatment of Pain and Depression following Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator: Sangeetha Nayak, Ph.D.
Institution: American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers (AASCIPSW)
Funding source: NIH, U24HD32994
Last updated: 05/17/00

Objective: To examine: (1) the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of pain following spinal cord injury and (2) secondary effects on depression, anxiety, quality of life and impact of pain on social, physical and emotional following SCI.
Methods: Twenty-five subjects with SCI pain received acupuncture treatments twice a week for a total of 15 treatments following a 71â?„2 week baseline period, which served as a within-group no-acupuncture control. During the entire course of the study, patients continued to receive standard therapies. Outcome measures of pain experience, depression, anxiety, social adjustment and general well-being were obtained at baseline, pretreatment, posttreatment and 3 month follow up.
Results: Preliminary results indicate that acupuncture is effective for most forms of pain reported by SCI subjects, and that improvements in mood also accompany treatment. Final analysis of data are currently underway and expected to be completed in 2000.
Conclusion: Results of this study will provide information to patients with SCI pain regarding whether they should seek acupuncture as a safe, effective treatment with few adverse effects, which can provide improvement in pain relief, depression, and quality of life. Results may also be used to inform physicians and insurers as to the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for chronic pain following SCI. Results on safety will be published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, in late 2000.

[This message was edited by Wise Young on October 01, 2001 at 11:54 PM.]