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Advertising, expectations and informed consent: the contents and functions of acupuncture leaflets

Advertising, expectations and informed consent: the contents and functions of acupuncture leaflets
Advertising, expectations and informed consent: the contents and functions of acupuncture leaflets
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the content of patient information leaflets about acupuncture.

METHODS: 401 patient information leaflets were obtained from practising UK acupuncturists and subjected to content and thematic analysis.

RESULTS: 59% of included leaflets were from NHS physiotherapists. Almost all the leaflets defined acupuncture and the majority explained how it might work, described the treatment process and placed it in a historical context. Most described possible benefits and risks of acupuncture and discussed contraindications and safety. Just under a third of leaflets (120, 30%) suggested conditions that might be helped by acupuncture, most commonly musculoskeletal pain, arthritis and injuries. By emphasising differences between individuals in acupuncture treatments and responsiveness, the leaflets fostered hope for positive effects without making any guarantees.

CONCLUSIONS: Information leaflets are broadly consistent with the evidence for acupuncture, but some claims are inconsistent with official advice from advertising regulators. An ethically sound, scientifically grounded and psychologically effective leaflet should accurately convey both benefits and risks of treatment, optimise patients' expectations and allay concerns about needling. This study suggests that acupuncture leaflets might achieve these multiple functions but care should be taken to ensure adequate coverage of risks.
351-357
Bishop, Felicity L.
1f5429c5-325f-4ac4-aae3-6ba85d079928
Salmon, Cathy
55d84f57-2cf8-4078-a500-ac990079420b
Bishop, Felicity L.
1f5429c5-325f-4ac4-aae3-6ba85d079928
Salmon, Cathy
55d84f57-2cf8-4078-a500-ac990079420b

Bishop, Felicity L. and Salmon, Cathy (2013) Advertising, expectations and informed consent: the contents and functions of acupuncture leaflets. Acupuncture in Medicine, 31, 351-357. (doi:10.1136/acupmed-2013-010416). (PMID:24077393)

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the content of patient information leaflets about acupuncture.

METHODS: 401 patient information leaflets were obtained from practising UK acupuncturists and subjected to content and thematic analysis.

RESULTS: 59% of included leaflets were from NHS physiotherapists. Almost all the leaflets defined acupuncture and the majority explained how it might work, described the treatment process and placed it in a historical context. Most described possible benefits and risks of acupuncture and discussed contraindications and safety. Just under a third of leaflets (120, 30%) suggested conditions that might be helped by acupuncture, most commonly musculoskeletal pain, arthritis and injuries. By emphasising differences between individuals in acupuncture treatments and responsiveness, the leaflets fostered hope for positive effects without making any guarantees.

CONCLUSIONS: Information leaflets are broadly consistent with the evidence for acupuncture, but some claims are inconsistent with official advice from advertising regulators. An ethically sound, scientifically grounded and psychologically effective leaflet should accurately convey both benefits and risks of treatment, optimise patients' expectations and allay concerns about needling. This study suggests that acupuncture leaflets might achieve these multiple functions but care should be taken to ensure adequate coverage of risks.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 27 September 2013
Published date: 5 December 2013
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358284
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358284
PURE UUID: 2671236c-fd1a-41e9-a2bf-52fed2001897
ORCID for Felicity L. Bishop: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8737-6662

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Oct 2013 13:15
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 00:58

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