Research by Mrs Daisy Cam

All of our attendees carry out a piece of research in an area of MS clinical practice or treatment that interests them.

This project was the winner of the MS Academy MasterClass Project Award for Autumn 2018, and this snapshot gives you a quick idea of what MS specialist nurse Daisy found and why. If you want to learn more, just click through to her full slide set, or follow the links within the snapshot.

If you would like to contact the alumni who did the research, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch where possible.

 

Aim

To review the use of acupuncture to treat MS-related pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Headlines

  • Over 68% of people living with MS experience MS-related pain (MS Trust: 2011), whether neuropathic or central but as yet no single treatment has been found effective in treating it (Finnerup et al: 2005).
  • The majority of patients receiving acupuncture find that their pain symptoms improve from the treatment though conventional medication may still be needed in addition.
  • Acupuncture is cost effective and shown to improve a patient’s sleep and feelings of wellbeing.
  • Collaborative working across pain and specialist nurse specialisms provided an effective and unique service to patients.

Key findings

Before undertaking this research, the researcher obtained study leave to train with the British Medical Acupuncture Society (2009) and carried out the research alongside the pain specialist nurse in her area.

  • Sample of 53 patients surveyed over 6 months with an average of 4.4 years receiving acupuncture
    • 40 patients with relapsing-remitting MS
    • 9 with secondary progressive MS
    • 3 were unsure of their type of MS.
  • Using 14 descriptors to determine the type of pain:
    • 40 patients described 5-9 different symptoms of neuropathic pain,
    • 30 patients used 1-5 descriptors of mechanical or musculoskeletal pain.
  • 68% experienced a relief of pain symptoms following acupuncture for an average duration of 4.7 weeks
  • Following acupuncture:
    • 17 of the patients made significant (6) or small reductions (11) to their conventional medication regime
    • 20 patients had improved sleep
    • 48 patients had an improved feeling of wellbeing

Core recommendations

  • Collaborative working across pain and specialist nurse specialisms elsewhere may provide optimised support to patients.
  • There is a need to carry out more research, particularly comparative studies, if it is to be funded by the NHS in the long term.

 

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