Objective: To explore the experience of breast cancer patients who either received acupuncture or were allocated to the control group. Methods: Focus group/interviews nested within our multi-site randomised controlled trial. Participants were recruited from the standard care and experimental arm. The interviews/focus groups were transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: Of the 302 eligible participants 13% (n=40) contributed to the focus groups/interviews, across three study sites in the UK. Five common themes were identified, including: drivers to take part, the experience of receiving acupuncture, being allocated standard care (control) and reflections on taking part in the trial. The subgroup of control group participants (n=9) reported disappointment on hearing their allocation, but recognised the value of their role to the study. Conclusions: Recipients of acupuncture reported beneficial effects in managing fatigue and related symptoms. The finding that control participants were disappointed warrants further investigation and consideration when designing interventional studies.
- Clinical trial
- Control group
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine