Zhang, Anthony L., Parker, Shefton J., Smit, De Villiers, Taylor, David McD., and Xu, Charlie C. L.
Acupuncture in Medicine; Jun2014, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p250-256, 7p
NAUSEA, PAIN, PREVENTIVE medicine, ACUPUNCTURE, CHI-squared test, EMERGENCY medical services, HOSPITAL emergency services, PATIENT satisfaction, PATIENT safety, RESEARCH funding, T-test (Statistics), U-statistics, PILOT projects, PATIENT refusal of treatment, VISUAL analog scale, DATA analysis software, DESCRIPTIVE statistics, and PREVENTION
Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of delivering acupuncture in an emergency department (ED) to patients presenting with pain and/or nausea. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]