Sticking it to frequent attendees

The 80 patients in the CACTUS study had an average age of 50 years and 80% were women. On average, they had consulted their GPs about 16 times a year.

Musculoskeletal problems, mainly chronic pain, were the most common complaints. The patients’ symptoms had lasted for at least three months, with 26% having had them for more than five years.

Acupuncture was started immediately in one group, but delayed for six months in the other. Twelve sessions of acupuncture were planned.

After the first six months the