A research manager at Airedale Hospital, Steeton, has completed a major study looking at how acupuncture might be used to help relieve bone pain in cancer patients.

Carole Paley, from Skipton, has been awarded a PhD after studying part time for five years at Leeds Metropolitan University. Her final thesis was research into the use of acupuncture for treating bone pain in adult cancer patients.

As part of her studies, Carole, 52, worked with Sue Ryder Care Manorlands Hospice and the Haematology Oncology Day Unit and physiotherapy teams at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

She works four days a week and has been studying on her day off and during holidays. She has published seven research papers associated with her work.

“You have to be 100 per cent committed to it and really enthusiastic about your subject as it is lots of hard work. You have your highs and lows,” she said.

Carole qualified and worked as a physiotherapist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust until 2007. She has a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Medicine and has been practicing acupuncture for 13 years. She is also a keen runner and a member of the hospital’s running team, The Airedale Dodgers.

“Acupuncture is accepted now as part of a physio’s toolkit,” she said. “I became more and more interested in it and eventually decided to study the practice further.

“There’s been very little research into treating cancer-induced bone pain with acupuncture and hopefully my studies will help patients in the future.

“I began to realise that when I was treating patients for cancer, acupuncture was helping their pain particularly as they were able to sleep better.

“My studies have been really useful to my job as I give lots of advice to other staff on how to put together research projects.”