Psychological distress, physical symptoms, and the role of attachment style in acupuncture
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractContext • Attachment research has contributed significantly to the understanding of the origins as well as the treatment of psychological and somatic distress; however, no study so far has explored the role of attachment in acupuncture. The effects on endogenous opioids of both acupuncture and intimate interpersonal bonding as well as clients’ reliance on a practitioner’s care may suggest that individual differences in attachment style could be linked to individual differences in responses to acupuncture. Objective • The study intended to investigate the role of attachment style in determining outcomes in acupuncture. Design • A pre- and postintervention, single group, quasiexperimental design was used. Setting • Treatment and data collection took place in an acupuncture clinic in London, England, United Kingdom. Participants: Eighty-two acupuncture clients with a mean age of 46 ± 14.53 took part in the study. Participants suffered from a variety of somatic and psychological complaints. Intervention • Traditional Chinese acupuncture was administered to all participants in weekly sessions, with the mean number of sessions that participants received being 5 ± 3.5. Outcome Measures • Psychological distress and somatic symptoms were measured using the General Heath Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the Bradford Somatic Inventory (BSI), respectively. The Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) was used to assess attachment style, with the 4 styles being secure, dismissing, preoccupied, and fearful. Results • After treatment, both somatic and nonsomatic distress were reduced (P <.001), whereas pretreatment associations between attachment insecurity and symptom severity ceased to exist. The strength rather than the quality of the attachment style moderated the reduction in somatic distress, whereas the preoccupied style of attachment moderated the effects of medically unexplained symptoms on distress. Conclusions • Attachment style may have an impact on acupuncture outcomes by predisposing individuals to different patterns of opioid elicitation and a different manner of relating to the practitioner.
CitationSochos A., Bennett A. (2016) 'Psychological distress, physical symptoms, and the role of attachment style in acupuncture', Alternative Therapies: In Health & Medicine, 22 (3), pp.8-16.
PublisherInnoVision Health Media
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as White - archiving not formally supported
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