Bishop, F.L., Massey, Y, Yardley, L. and Lewith, G.T.
How do patients choose an acupuncturist? A mixed methods study. Presented at the 5th International Congress on Complementary Medicine, Tromso.
ICCMR 2010 Abstract Book, .
Full text not available from this repository.
Purpose: Patients can have difficulties choosing acupuncturists in the UK as they are not currently subject to statutory regulation. A qualitative study explored patients’ experiences of acupuncture. A quantitative vignette study investigated the impact of patient
gender and practitioner factors (gender, training location and qualifications) on choice of acupuncturist.
Methods: Qualitative study: 35 acupuncture
patients (maximum variation sampling) participated in semistructured interviews about their acupuncture experiences (thematic analysis).
Quantitative study: 83 participants imagined wanting to consult an acupuncturist for back pain. They rated 8
Results: Patients wanted qualified, personable acupuncturists and valued recommendations from trusted
others. Without such recommendations, potential patients preferred female acupuncturists (F(1,76)=30.63,
p<.01) with medical qualifications (F(1,76)=125.72, p<.01), who trained in China (F(1,76)=8.53), p<.01).
Conclusions: The decision to consult a particular acupuncturist is not straight forward. Acupuncturists’
trustworthiness and authenticity are important to (potential) patients; practitioner gender also influenced
preferences in our participants. Patients need to be informed about forthcoming statutory regulation in
CAM and its implications; GPs might be able to better support their patients wanting to consult acupuncturists.
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