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Title: Patients' views on using complementary therapies to manage their chronic back pain
Authors: Cappello, Cyrita
Keywords: Backache -- Exercise therapy
Chronic pain
Backache -- Physical therapy
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Cappello, C. (2009). Patients' views on using complementary therapies to manage their chronic back pain (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Aim and objectives The aim of this study was to explore the views of chronic back pain sufferers on using complementary therapies to manage their back pain. The objectives of this study were to explore the participants' views on complementary therapies to manage chronic back pain, their perceived benefits of complementary therapies in the management of chronic back pain, and the reasons why some of the participants never tried complementary therapies to manage their chronic back pain.
Sampling method and sample size A sample of 30 chronic back pain sufferers who attend a complementary therapy clinic was intended for this study but since at the time of data collection, only 18 chronic back pain sufferers attended the complementary therapy clinic, some of the participants from the complementary therapy clinic recruited other chronic back pain sufferers (family or friends) who unfortunately do not attend a complementary therapy clinic.
The instrument used and the response rate A self-designed questionnaire consisting of a blend of close ended and open ended questions (27 questions in total), was used after reading through the literature available on chronic back pain and complementary therapies. The response rate for this study is 83.3% since a total of 25 chronic back pain sufferers responded the questionnaire. Eighteen chronic back pain sufferers (72%) manage their chronic back pain with complementary therapies while the other 7 chronic back pain sufferers (28%) use only conventional medicine.
Data Analysis Close-ended questions were analysed quantitatively by simple statistics, and presented in the form of bar graphs while the open-ended questions were presented in tables and compared with the literature available, in the discussion chapter.
Main Results The majority of the findings of this study back the literature found on complementary therapies. This study highlighted that being a female between 20 and 30 years, working in a full time job, and having a tertiary level of education is what illustrates the 'typical complementary therapy user'. The majority of the participants have been suffering from back pain for more than a year. Despite the fact that the interaction with the complementary therapist is seen as more positive, complementary therapy users are no more dissatisfied with conventional care than one could expect. Most of the participants have heard about complementary therapies but only a few know the exact meaning of the term 'complementary therapy'. 'Massage' stood out as the most complementary therapy tried and also as the answer mostly given when participants were asked to define 'complementary therapy'. Relatives and friends are the commonest source of recommendation for complementary therapies. Moreover, stress relief is seen as an adjuvant effect of complementary therapy apart from pain relief. Seventy-two percent (72%) of the 18 participants who use complementary therapies agree upon disclosing their complementary therapy usage to the GP/specialist. All those who have tried complementary therapies would recommend them to others because of their effectiveness. The only drawbacks of complementary therapies seem to be their high price and accessibility. Reasons given by those participants who have never tried complementary therapy are mostly related to passivity (leaving everything m the GP/specialist's hands since he or she knows best) and scepticism.
Conclusion and implication for research, practice, and education It was clear from the findings that those who have tried complementary therapies find them effective but further research is needed especially in Malta. Moreover, there is the need for further knowledge on the subject both for the patients and for the GP/specialists. The majority of the participants think that as complementary therapies are natural, they have no side-effects. Other recommendations are included towards the end of the study.
Description: B.SC.(HONS)NURSING
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2009
Dissertations - FacHScNur - 2009

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