Digital Public Defence: Trygve Thorn Skonnord

MD Trygve Thorn Skonnord at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “Acupuncture for acute, non-specific low back pain – an electronic randomised, controlled multicentre trial” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Thea Cecilie Engelsen, UiO. 

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Klaus Linde, Technische Universität München, Germany
  • Second opponent: Professor Anders Bærheim, University of Bergen
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Hilde Stendal Robinson, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Anne Helene Kveim Lie, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

 Associate Professor Arne Fetveit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Recent international guidelines recommend primarily non-pharmacological treatments for acute low back pain in primary care. Acupuncture is one treatment option, despite lack of high-quality evidence.

In this thesis we aimed to evaluate whether a single treatment session of acupuncture, when applied in addition to standard treatment for acute non-specific low back pain, reduces the time to recovery compared with standard treatment alone.

We performed a multicentre, randomised, controlled trial in Norwegian general practice. The primary outcome was median time to recovery. Secondary outcomes were pain intensity, disability, work absence, global improvement, medication, adverse effects, quality of life and cost-effectiveness.

To manage the data collection, we chose to develop specific software that could automate the sending of emails with links to the surveys.

The developed software improved study logistics by automating and monitoring data collection, and the reminder function significantly increased the response rate in our trial.

In the randomised, controlled trial, we did not find any statistically significant differences in time to recovery between the intervention group receiving one session of acupuncture alongside standard care and the control group having standard care alone. Small findings in pain reduction, global improvement and use of medication were not clinically relevant. We found indications that the treatment could be cost-effective in a health care perspective at one year.

Based on the Acuback study, we cannot give recommendations to implement the treatment in eventual new guidelines.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Oct. 14, 2021 10:49 AM - Last modified Oct. 27, 2021 10:57 AM