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NYU College of Nursing's Dr. Anastasi awarded $2.5 million from NIH to study IBS symptom management

New York University College of Nursing's (NYUCN) Joyce K. Anastasi, PhD, DrNP, FAAN, LAc., the Independence Foundation Endowed Professor and Founding Director of the Division of Special Studies in Symptom Management at NYUCN has been awarded a $2.5 million four-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for the study of "Symptom management for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) constipation".

The primary aim of the study is to investigate the efficacy of Acupuncture/Moxibustion (Acu/Moxa) in reducing abdominal pain/discomfort and IBS secondary supporting symptoms such as intestinal gas, bloating, and stool consistency. The randomized, blinded, sham/placebo controlled study, with 183 adults diagnosed with IBS-Constipation, will follow the accepted standards of rigorous clinical trials.

"Acu/Moxa , used in traditional Chinese medicine, has been employed successfully to manage various GI disorders including IBS," said Dr. Anastasi. "However, few acupuncture studies have had the necessary rigor to evaluate this therapy," she said.

IBS is the most commonly identified functional bowel disorder afflicting 15% to 20% of North Americans. IBS is defined as abdominal pain/discomfort in the mid or lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, associated with defecation or a change in bowel patterns with features of disordered defecation.

The chronic symptoms of IBS have been linked with decreased quality of life, decreased work productivity, and increased health care utilization. Few current therapies such as dietary modification, supplements, psychotherapy and pharmacologic agents are proven effective, either singly or in combination. Most [studies] said Dr. Anastasi, "have been limited by size, design and duration of follow-up."

Dr. Anastasi is one of the country's leading clinical scientists in the area of symptom management. Over the past three years, Dr. Anastasi has been awarded three NIH R01s, all of which have contributed to developing rigorously tested, randomized clinical trials using non-invasive interventions to manage chronic and often debilitating symptoms. Her studies provide the foundation to develop clinically meaningful interventions to guide researchers, clinicians and patients to understand the therapeutic benefits of methods such as traditional Chinese medicine.

Dr. Anastasi served on the Advisory Board for the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report on The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public. Dr. Anastasi, a nurse scientist, clinical trialist is also an acupuncturist, Diplomate from the NCCAOM. Dr. Anastasi authored and developed the Herbs, Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements graduate program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). She has published extensively in the area of symptom management using non-invasive interventions and has received numerous awards for her contributions and expertise in acupuncture and symptom management research.


Contact: Christopher James
New York University

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