Patient characteristics for outpatient acupuncture in Beijing, China.


Napadow V, Kaptchuk TJ. Patient characteristics for outpatient acupuncture in Beijing, China. J Altern Complement Med 2004;10(3):565-72.
napadow_jacm_2004.pdf208 KB

Date Published:

2004 Jun


OBJECTIVES: This study quantifies and compares patient characteristics in outpatient acupuncture. SETTING/DESIGN: Prospective primary source evidence was gathered at two prominent outpatient acupuncture clinics in Beijing, China (n = 563, n = 233). RESULTS: The most common condition was Bell's palsy, which represented 20.6% and 25.3% of total cases at the two clinics, respectively. The second most common condition was cerebrovascular accident (CVA) rehabilitation. These treatments represented 11.9% and 12.0% of treatments at the two clinics, respectively. Other trends at the clinics included the following: (1) neurologic complaints predominated; (2) doctors see a large number of patients per day; (3) the majority of patients overall were female; while (4) the majority of patients treated for CVAs rehabilitation were male. As cultural and socioeconomic differences in perceptions of acupuncture exist between peoples of different countries, this study also compared patient main complaints in China to available data on acupuncture patients seen in other parts of China, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. Except for the German clinic data, Western clinic acupuncturists saw more musculoskeletal complaints compared to China, where neurologic complaints predominated. Another significant difference between Asian and Western clinics was the number of patients seen per hour. While acupuncturists were reported to see 1.2 patients per hour in U. S. clinics, acupuncturists at the two Beijing, China, clinics saw 7.0 and 10.4 patients per hour, respectively. CONCLUSION: The main complaints seen in acupuncture outpatient clinics throughout the world likely result from a combination of inherent disease prevalence as well as patients' attitudes toward what acupuncture can treat successfully.

Last updated on 10/22/2015