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Researchers focus on how physios’ attitudes and beliefs affect patients with back pain

9 February 2015 - 11:35am

Researchers are looking for 90 physiotherapists in the UK who treat patients with back pain. They want to assess how practitioners’ attitudes, beliefs and communication styles affect patients.

Back pain

The study will examine how beliefs and attitudes influence the treatment of back pain

The researchers, based at the University of Southampton, are beginning a three-year study comparing ‘non-specific effects’ of treatment for back pain by physios, osteopaths and acupuncturists.

The academics want to monitor 90 therapists from each discipline, with about half of each group working in the NHS and the other half based in the independent sector.

The aim is to find out which non-specific effects are most powerful, how they vary between the three therapies, and how they can produce positive outcomes for patients with back pain.

Susan Eardley is leading the study, which is titled Mechanisms in orthodox and complementary and alternative medicine management of back pain (MOCAM).

She said: ‘There is a lot of interest in the difference in the effects between complementary and traditional medicine.

‘We think – but we don’t know – that there is a difference in these effects between the therapies, and we also think that there may be a difference between NHS and private therapists.’

Anyone interested in taking part in the study, who should have from 10 to 30 patients with back pain, can email Dr Eardley at: s.eardley@soton.ac.uk Tel: 023 8059 1942

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