Medical students and acupuncture: a short sharp placement experience!
AffiliationComplementary Therapy Service, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. email@example.com
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AbstractBACKGROUND: Acupuncture and other complementary therapies (CTs) have become increasingly popular, with patients calling for more integrated care. It is questionable whether doctors know enough about these therapies to provide balanced and informed advice to patients and, given that most will come across patients accessing CTs, this is an area of concern. METHOD: This was an exploratory study of 40 students attending a placement at a CT service within an acute hospital trust in the UK. A questionnaire was given at the start of placement to record their scepticism towards CTs on a 0-10 scale and again, on placement completion. RESULT: Of the students attending, 73% (n=29) completed the questionnaire. There was a statistically significant reduction in scepticism scores assessed before and after placement (p<0.001). Of the respondents, 90% (n=26) were shown or attempted acupuncture. 76% of students reported that the placement would definitely influence the rate of CT referrals in their future practice. CONCLUSION: The placement experience provided students an opportunity to reconsider their attitudes towards CTs. The study was limited to one site and students independently elected to participate in the experience. Similar exposure could be of value to the wider medical student population, ultimately leading to more informed advice available to patients. Future research should include greater numbers, which could include a multi-site study.
CitationMedical students and acupuncture: a short sharp placement experience! 2010, 28 (1):12-5 Acupunct Med
JournalAcupuncture in Medicine