Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Bundled Acupuncture and Yoga Therapy to Treat Chronic Pain in Community Healthcare Settings: A Feasibility Pilot

Belinda J. Anderson, Paul Meissner, Donna M. Mah, Arya Nielsen, Steffany Moonaz, M. DIane McKee, Benjamin Kligler, Mirta Milanes, Hernidia Guerra, Raymond Teets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify factors associated with implementing bundled group acupuncture and yoga therapy (YT) to treat underserved patients with chronic pain in community health center (CHC) settings. This is not an implementation science study, but rather an organized approach for identification of barriers and facilitators to implementing these therapies as a precursor to a future implementation science study. Design: This study was part of a single-arm feasibility trial, which aimed to test the feasibility of bundling GA and YT for chronic pain in CHCs. Treatment outcomes were measured before and after the 10-week intervention period. Implementation feasibility was assessed through weekly research team meetings, weekly yoga provider meetings, monthly acupuncture provider meetings, and weekly provider surveys. Settings: The study was conducted in New York City at two Montefiore Medical Group (MMG) sites in the Bronx, and one Institute for Family Health (IFH) site in Harlem. Subjects: Participants in the feasibility trial were recruited from IFH and MMG sites, and needed to have had lower back, neck, or osteoarthritis pain for >3 months. Implementation stakeholders included the research team, providers of acupuncture and YT, referring providers, and CHC staff. Results: Implementation of these therapies was assessed using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. We identified issues associated with scheduling, treatment fidelity, communication, the three-way disciplinary interaction of acupuncture, yoga, and biomedicine, space adaptation, site-specific logistical and operational requirements, and patient-provider language barriers. Issues varied as to their frequency and resolution difficulty. Conclusions: This feasibility trial identified implementation issues and resolution strategies that could be further explored in future implementation studies. Clinical Trial Registration No.: NCT04296344.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • acupuncture therapy
  • implementation
  • nonpharmacologic pain care
  • underserved setting
  • yoga therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Bundled Acupuncture and Yoga Therapy to Treat Chronic Pain in Community Healthcare Settings: A Feasibility Pilot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this