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Relationships Between Subjective Measures of Pain, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 1

Words: 611

Research Proposal

Patients will be recruited to the study as they begin treatment for non-specific low back pain. Data will be collected from the HWA acupuncture center when prospective data is not available. Information from approximately 100 patients that utilize Chinese acupuncture for treatment and 100 patients that utilize Western medicine for treatment will be collected. An a priori power calculation indicated that this sample size is necessary to yield at least 80% power. We will retrieve data from both retrospective and perspective study. After consenting to the study, they will be provided with a demographic questionnaire that will identify their age, gender, ethnic group, level of education, and field of employment (Turk et al., 1985). This information will be used to determine confounding factors that may distract from the association between Chinese acupuncture and the effective treatment of lower back pain. Next, a survey will be issued to identify the level of pain experienced by the patient before treatment, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest level of pain and 10 being the highest level of pain. Patients that report pain levels of 8-10 will be considered as having pain that interferes with their daily activities. A second survey will be issued to identify the specific health problems that each patient is experiencing. Specifically, they will be asked how long they have been experiencing the pain, whether an accident or important event caused the pain, things they have done on their own to alleviate the pain, and a list of medical interventions they have sought. Patients will be allowed to write one to two sentences to summarize these conditions.

After each patient is provided treatment, either by Chinese acupuncture or Western medicine, they will be issued a brief survey that will report their pain level, again on a scale of 1-10 (Woodforde et al, 1972). The specific type of treatment received, in addition to the before treatment pain level, will be recorded. This survey will be issued each time the patient visits the office for treatment, and their pain levels will be tracked over time.

The efficacy of Chinese acupuncture versus Western medicine will be measured by adding the difference in pain levels from the start of therapy to the end of therapy for each patient. This will allow the researchers to determine which method results in the largest decrease of pain. The results will be stratified on the basis of the demographics described above to ensure that trends are attributable to the treatment rather than confounders.

To determine whether Chinese acupuncture or Western medicine is more beneficial at treating lower back pain, a multivariate regression analysis will be conducted to determine the correlation between each treatment method and reduction in back pain. The additional variables that will be considered in each of these models include age, gender, ethnic group, level of education, field of employment, the period of time the pain has been experienced for, the cause of the pain, and past treatment. Furthermore, a student’s t-test will be used to verify the association between the treatment method and back pain, with a p-value of less than 0.05.STATA version 13.0 will be utilized for this purpose. Descriptive statistics such as the median, mode, range, mean, and standard deviation for each treatment group will be calculated. Microsoft Excel will be utilized for this purpose. Qualitative studies will be conducted to determine which treatment methods will be the best for treating specific causes of lower back pain.

References

Turk DC, Rudy TE, Salovey P. (1985). The McGill Pain Questionnaire reconsidered: confirming the factor structure and examining appropriate uses. Pain, 21:385-397.

Woodforde JM, Merskey H. (1972). Some relationships between subjective measures of pain. J Psychosom Res, 16:173-178.

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