Acupuncture versus medication for pain management: A cross-sectional study of breast cancer survivors Journal Article


Authors: Bao, T.; Li, S. Q.; Dearing, J. L.; Piulson, L. A.; Seluzicki, C. M.; Sidlow, R.; Mao, J. J.
Article Title: Acupuncture versus medication for pain management: A cross-sectional study of breast cancer survivors
Abstract: Aim of the study Breast cancer survivors who take aromatase inhibitors (AI) often suffer from chronic pain. Emerging evidence supports the use of acupuncture as an effective pain management strategy for this condition, but its acceptability among cancer survivors is unknown. We evaluated breast cancer survivors' preferences for acupuncture as compared with medication use and identified factors predictive of this preference. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study among breast cancer survivors who were currently, or had been, taking an AI. The primary outcome was degree of preference for acupuncture as compared with medication for pain management. We conducted multivariate logistic regression analyses to evaluate the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) factors and health beliefs on treatment preference. Results Among 592 participants, 160 (27.0%) preferred acupuncture, 153 (25.8%) preferred medication and 279 (47.1%) had no clear preference. In a multivariate analysis that only included SES, higher education and white race were significantly associated with greater preference for acupuncture. When health beliefs were added, SES effects were attenuated, while greater expectation of acupuncture's effect, lower perceived barriers to its use, higher social norm (endorsement from family members and healthcare professionals) related to acupuncture and higher holistic health beliefs were associated with greater preference for acupuncture. Conclusion We found similar rates of preference for acupuncture versus medication among breast cancer survivors for pain management. Specific attitudes and beliefs predicted such preferences, highlighting the importance of a patient-centred approach to align patient beliefs and preferences with therapeutic options for more effective pain management. Trial registration number NCT01013337; Results. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
Keywords: oncology; acupuncture; pain management; complementary medicine
Journal Title: Acupuncture in Medicine
Volume: 36
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0964-5284
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.  
Date Published: 2018-04-01
Start Page: 80
End Page: 87
Language: English
DOI: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011435
PROVIDER: scopus
PUBMED: 29440043
DOI/URL:
Notes: Qing Susan Li's first and middle names are reversed on the original publication -- Article -- Source: Wos
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MSK Authors
  1. Ting   Bao
    18 Bao
  2. Robert   Sidlow
    7 Sidlow
  3. Jun J Mao
    60 Mao
  4. Qing Susan Li
    15 Li