In 2017 CSTA member, Nicola Brough, was awarded a PhD from Warwick Medical School, Division of Health Sciences for her research into CST outcomes.
Nicola’s research began with a Masters by Research, funded by the CSTA, for which she was awarded an MPhil for outstanding work. Her thesis, Clients’ Experiences of Craniosacral Therapy: A Qualitative Study (2012), explored 29 participants’ experiences of CST and outcomes they attributed to having had CST. This was the first qualitative study involving CST and the findings have been published in the following paper:-
Brough, N. et al (2015) Perspectives on the effects and mechanisms of craniosacral therapy: A qualitative study of users’ views. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. Volume 7: Issue 2, pg. 172-183
For her PhD Nicola developed and evaluated The 25-item Warwick Holistic Health Questionnaire (“WHHQ”), which assesses changes in the health and wellbeing of people having CST. Identifying outcomes that are important to clients is essential in holistic care. The WHHQ was developed with input from CST users and practitioners, capturing health gains that users attribute to CST. It incorporates holistic statements and represents new concepts in healthcare evaluation, such as self-agency and self-care. The research was funded by a University of Warwick Chancellor’s Scholarship Award and the CSTA.
In 2018 Nicola won two awards – from the Research Council for Complementary Medicine and from the Federation of Holistic Therapists – in recognition of her work.
The psychometric properties of the WHHQ questionnaire have been confirmed and the WHHQ is psychometrically sound. Analysis is currently underway to confirm the responsiveness of the WHHQ and this will be reported on via peer-review publication in due course. An ideal tool to audit practice and to enable more robust studies of the effectiveness of CST in the future, the WHHQ may also be applicable to other modalities of complementary and alternative medicine.
For further information or to register your interest in using the WHHQ, please email Nicola Brough.