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Eur J Integr Med. 2018 Jan;17:64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.eujim.2017.11.006.

Self-efficacy and self-care-related outcomes following Alexander Technique lessons for people with chronic neck pain in the ATLAS randomised, controlled trial.

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Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, Grove Business Centre, Unit W48, 560-568 High Road, London, N17 9TA, UK.
Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK.



ATLAS was a pragmatic randomised (1:1:1 ratio), controlled trial recruiting patients with chronic neck pain (N = 517) and evaluating one-to-one Alexander Technique lessons, or acupuncture, each plus usual care, compared with usual care alone. The primary outcome (12-month Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire [NPQ]) demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful reductions in neck pain and associated disability for both interventions compared with usual care alone. Here we describe pre-specified, self-efficacy and other self-care-related outcomes for the Alexander group compared with usual care.


Participants reported on 11 self-efficacy/self-care-related outcome measures at 6 and 12 months. Linear or logistic regression models evaluated changes in parameters and impact on NPQ. Alexander teachers reported on lesson content.


Lesson content reflected standard UK practice. The Alexander group (n = 172) reported significantly greater improvements, compared with usual care alone (n = 172), in most of the self-efficacy/self-care measures (9/11 measures at 6 months, and 8/11 at 12 months), including the ability to reduce pain in daily life. At 6 months, 81% (106/131) of Alexander participants reported significant improvement in the way they lived and cared for themselves (versus 23% for usual care), increasing to 87% (117/135) at 12 months (usual care: 25%). NPQ scores at both 6 and 12 months were related to improvement in self-efficacy and ability to reduce pain during daily life.


Alexander Technique lessons led to long-term improvements in the way participants lived their daily lives and managed their neck pain. Alexander lessons promote self-efficacy and self-care, with consequent reductions in chronic neck pain.


Alexander Technique; Chronic pain; Musculoskeletal; NPQ, Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire; Neck pain; Randomised controlled trial; SF-12, short-form quality of life survey; Self-care; Self-efficacy

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