McClean, Stuart; Brilleman, Sam; Wye, Lesley. What is the perceived impact of Alexander technique lessons on health status, costs and pain management in the real life setting of an English hospital? The results of a mixed methods evaluation of an Alexander technique service for those with chronic back pain. BMC Health Services Research. 15(1):293, 2015.
BACKGROUND: This mixed methods study aimed to explore the role and perceived impact of Alexander Technique lessons in an acute hospital Pain Management Clinic in England.
METHODS: 43 service users completed the Brief Pain Inventory, MYMOP and Client Service Resource Inventory at baseline, six weeks and three months after baseline. Additionally we conducted 27 telephone interviews with service users and 7 face-to-face interviews with pain clinic staff and AT teachers. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data, and thematic analysis for qualitative data.
RESULTS: Service users who had AT lessons reported small improvements in health outcomes, and condition-related costs fell. However, because of the study design (non-randomised, uncontrolled), changes cannot be attributed to the AT lessons. AT students said they had experienced changes in their relationship to pain and pain management, especially those who practised the techniques regularly. This may have led to the reduction in pain-related service use and the associated lower costs.
CONCLUSIONS: AT lessons may be used as an additional pain management approach. AT lessons may improve self-efficacy for those who are sufficiently motivated, which in turn may reduce service costs.