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BMEA study: Electro-acupuncture (EA) and chronic pelvic pain (CPP)

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    The BMEA Study: The impact of meridian balanced method (BM) electro-acupuncture (EA) treatment on women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP): A three-arm randomized controlled pilot study.



  • Contact name

    Ooi Thye Chong

  • Contact email

  • Identifier

    n/a, n/a

  • Research summary

    Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a debilitating condition that affects over 1 million women in the United Kingdom. The annual healthcare costs are estimated at over £150 million. Treatments for this include the use of painkillers and hormones. These are unsatisfactory in many cases as they can have side effects and affect fertility.
    We believe that the meridian balance method (BM) electro-acupuncture (EA) treatment (which includes a Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Consultulation [TCM HC]) may be helpful in the management of CPP. A small pilot scheme using electro-acupuncture as part of the Pelvic Pain Service within NHS Lothian has proved popular.
    Our hypothesis is that BM Electro-Acupuncture treatment alleviates pain, and improves physical and emotional functioning, in women with CPP.

    We plan to undertake a single centre pilot study to assess the feasibility of performing a future three-armed randomised controlled, parallel group design trial to determine the efficacy of the meridian balance method electro-acupuncture (BMEA) treatment in the management of women with CPP.

    The primary objective is to determine whether it is possible to achieve acceptable recruitment and retention rates within defined inclusion/exclusion criteria.

    The secondary objectives are to determine the effectiveness and acceptability to patients of the proposed methods of recruitment, randomisation, interventions and assessment tools.

    We aim to recruit 30 women with CPP in NHS Lothian over a 12-month period and randomise them to BM Electro-Acupuncture treatment, TCM HC or optimal standard care (SC). Focus group discussion to gain feedback on study experience will be conducted at the completion of the study.

  • REC name

    South East Scotland REC 02

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    22 Aug 2014

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion