Pharmacy Student Publishes Paper on Efficacy of Acupressure for Chronic Low Back Pain
“During my pain/palliative ambulatory care Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience with Dr. Michael Smith, I had the opportunity to explore my interest in complementary alternative medicine (CAM),” explains Erica Godley, P4. “Dr. Smith really cared about catering my rotation to my interests in the context of his area of practice. I have always had an interest in CAM, which is an area that we do not discuss much in school, so when I told him of my interest in CAM he posed the idea to write a review paper.”
“From there I decided to focus my paper on chronic low back pain (CLBP), which is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Acupuncture and acupressure are some of the more commonly used CAM practices in the Western world.”
Erica successfully published “Efficacy of acupressure for chronic low back pain: A systematic review” in the May 2020 edition of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
“My review included six studies, all of which found a clinically significant reduction in pain and improvements in sleep and disability in the groups treated with a form of acupressure. Overall, I feel that acupressure is a feasible, effective, safe, low cost, non-pharmacologic method to treat CLBP, and may be considered as a first line non-pharmacologic therapy,” notes Erica.
“As a soon to be pharmacist, I strive to look at the whole patient, which involves both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, so I plan to continue to do work evaluating safe and effective complementary therapies for my patients,” says Erica. After commencement, Erica will begin a PGY1 community based residency at Novant Health Specialty Pharmacy in Winston Salem, NC.
“It was so great working with Dr. Smith on this paper and throughout my rotation. He really helped me work through all the steps of writing a review paper from appraising the literature all the way through to how to respond to reviewers comments to ultimately getting published,” describes Erica. “Beyond helping me with my paper, Dr. Smith has acted as an amazing mentor in navigating my plans after graduation. My rotation with him is what led me to pursue a career path focused in ambulatory care.”