A Qualitative Systematic Review of Patients' Experiences of Acupuncture



A Qualitative Systematic Review of Patients' Experiences of Acupuncture

Journal Publication

Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine







Research Type

Systematic Review


Patient Attitudes
Professional Practice, Evidence-Based
Systematic Review
Qualitative Studies -- Evaluation
Alternative Therapies
Quantitative Studies -- Evaluation
Research Methodology -- Evaluation
Study Design -- Evaluation
Thematic Analysis
Decision Making, Patient
Treatment Outcomes
Descriptive Statistics
Patient Satisfaction
Educational Status
Diagnosis -- Methods
Health Care Delivery
Professional-Patient Relations


Objectives: To present the results of a systematic review of studies on acupuncture patients' health beliefs and treatment experiences. Search strategy: The search was conducted using CINAHL, PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, and PsychINFO for qualitative and mixed-methods studies expressing the voice of acupuncture patients. Reference lists of relevant articles were also searched. The review was restricted to studies published in English. Data collection and analysis: Study selection, quality appraisal, and data extraction were performed sequentially. Quality was appraised using the Joanna Briggs Institute Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument, and the Dedoose mixed methods tool was used in data management and analysis. Results: Four overarching themes were identified: reasons for using acupuncture, treatment experiences, treatment outcomes, and therapeutic model. Conclusions: Patients' reasons for using acupuncture are diverse and include dissatisfaction with conventional medicine and attraction to holistic and empowering models of healthcare. Treatment is thought to relieve symptoms of the presenting concern and a range of other effects that improve well-being. This review highlights the need to improve understanding of patients' health-seeking behaviors and how individually meaningful treatment outcomes may be understood and assessed, particularly within complementary and alternative medicine.




Accession Number: 103889722. Language: English. Entry Date: 20140909. Revision Date: 20150901. Publication Type: Journal Article; research; systematic review; tables/charts. Journal Subset: Alternative/Complementary Therapies; Editorial Board Reviewed; Expert Peer Reviewed; Peer Reviewed; USA. Special Interest: Evidence-Based Practice. Instrumentation: Joanna Briggs Institute Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument. NLM UID: 9508124.

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