A huge new patient survey has been release that shows acupuncture significantly exceeds national benchmarks for quality of care.

93% of participants said their primary symptoms were successfully treated

99% said the quality of care and service was good or excellent

Only 0.014% (13 people) reported a minor adverse effect, i.e. a bruise. None reported a major adverse effect

acupuncturist oxfordThe study was commissioned by American Speciality Health to see how satisfied their customers were with their acupuncture treatments. It was conducted by an independent third-party group specialising in healthcare research using a government developed survey tool. The study included 89,000 participants. Their average age was 60 and 75% were female. The participants predominantly suffered with musculoskeletal problems, the main two conditions being lower back pain and neck pain.

This is the largest survey into acupuncture ever released and it has shown the highest levels of beneficial effects. It is hugely important for the field, the general public and healthcare providers.

Until now there has been the perception that acupuncture is not that effective, perhaps only being a placebo, and certainly not as effective as standard medical treatments. There is also the notion that it is uncomfortable and perhaps even dangerous. This research demolishes all such perceptions. No placebo is effective in 93% of cases and I am unaware of any pharmacological treatment, especially for pain, with as few side-effects as acupuncture has been shown to have.

I hope that this research will be used by policy-makers to include acupuncture in national health services. It would be great if they could catch up with the evidence and recommendations, especially as it is showing that it is more effective, safer, and in many cases more cost effective than conventional treatments. Acupuncture already has over 1000 recommendations from national and international health organisations, including The World Health Organisation, The National Institute of Clinical Excellence, The American College of Physicians and many more.

I also hope it will begin to change people’s perceptions as to the veracity, quality, and safety of acupuncture for short and long-term health and wellbeing, especially as acupuncture effects have now been shown to last at least a year in the majority of cases. See my previous blog about this

As more and more high-quality research comes in, attesting to the benefits of acupuncture for a wider range of conditions, I hope that we can move towards a holistic and preventative medical approach reducing and preventing unnecessary suffering as much as possible.

You can download the full report here