York Clinic helps to find out….

Acupuncturists and counsellors at York Clinic are seeing patients with depression as part of a large clinical trial run by the University of York. People diagnosed with depression are identified at their GP surgery and offered the chance to join the trial. If suitable, they are randomly allocated to receive either acupuncture, counselling or ‘usual care’. After 12 weeks of treatment, patients fill in a questionnaire about how they are feeling. They are asked to return several further questionnaires, so the trial can find out how long any benefits they have may last.

Harriet Lansdown, the supervisory acupuncturist for the trial says “this is a great opportunity for people who may not have tried acupuncture, to see if it can help. They are also helping us to find out if it is an effective treatment for depression. There are over 750 patients in the trial, enough to calculate whether there is a real effect or not.”

York Clinic has a strong relationship with the University through Hugh MacPherson, the Clinic Director, who is a senior research fellow in the Department of Health Sciences. Hugh is chief investigator of the trial, and led a successful bid for £800,000 of funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

Previous trials have involved back pain, irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis of the knee.