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Title: Acupuncture and standard emergency department care for pain and/or nausea and its impact on emergency care delivery: a feasibility study.
Authors: Zhang, Anthony L;Parker, Shefton J;Smit, De Villiers;Taylor, David McD;Xue, Charlie C L
Affiliation: Emergency and Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Department of Emergency, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 7-Mar-2014
Citation: Acupuncture in Medicine : Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society 2014; 32(3): 250-6
Abstract: To evaluate the feasibility of delivering acupuncture in an emergency department (ED) to patients presenting with pain and/or nausea.A feasibility study (with historical controls) undertaken at the Northern Hospital ED in Melbourne, Australia, involving people presenting to ED triage with pain (VAS 0-10) and/or nausea (Morrow Index 1-6) between January and August 2010 (n=400). The acupuncture group comprised 200 patients who received usual medical care and acupuncture; the usual care group comprised 200 patients with retrospective data closely matched from ED electronic health records.Refusal rate was 31%, with 'symptoms under control owing to medical treatment before acupuncture' the most prevalent reason for refusal (n=36); 52.5% of participants responded 'definitely yes' for their willingness to repeat acupuncture, and a further 31.8% responded 'probably yes'. Over half (57%) reported a satisfaction score of 10 for acupuncture treatment. Musculoskeletal conditions were the most common conditions treated n=117 (58.5%), followed by abdominal or flank pain n=49 (24.5%). Adverse events were rare (2%) and mild. Pain and nausea scores reduced from a mean±SD of 7.01±2.02 before acupuncture to 4.72±2.62 after acupuncture and from 2.6±2.19 to 1.42±1.86, respectively.Acupuncture in the ED appears safe and acceptable for patients with pain and/or nausea. Results suggest combined care may provide effective pain and nausea relief in ED patients. Further high-quality, sufficiently powered randomised studies evaluating the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of the add-on effect of acupuncture are recommended.
Internal ID Number: 24610638
DOI: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010501
Type: Journal Article
Acupuncture Therapy
Aged, 80 and over
Emergency Medical Services
Emergency Service, Hospital.statistics & numerical data
Feasibility Studies
Middle Aged
Pain Management
Retrospective Studies
Young Adult
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