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October 2021

Longer term clinical and economic benefits of offering acupuncture to patients with chronic low back pain assessed as suitable for primary care management

Author(s): Fitter, M., Brazier, J., MacPherson, H., Campbell, M., Nicholl, J., Roman, M.

Abstract: This paper presents the research protocol for a pragmatic study of the benefits of providing an acupuncture service to patients in primary care with chronic low back pain. The proposal was written in response to a call for bids from the NHS Executive's centrally funded research programme for Health Technology Assessment (HTA).The research question posed was'Does acupuncture have long-term effectiveness in the management of pain in primary care? ‘The present study was designed as a collaboration between an interdisciplinary team drawn from health services researchers at the University of Sheffield, acupuncture researchers from the Foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine in York, and practitioners from general practice and acupuncture in York.The proposal presented here was submitted in response to an invitation form the Commissioning Board following a successful outline bid. lt is reproduced here, largely as submitted in January 1998, using the headings under which information was requested. We also present an appendix describing methodological alterations made to the design in response the Commissioning Board's comments on the proposal. We present it in this format to give an idea of the evolution of the design and the process by which the research proposal was shaped. The final working protocol comprises a combination of these two elements.

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