Utilisation of acupuncture at an academic medical centre.

Author: Vincent A, Kruk KM, Cha SS, Bauer BA, Martin DP.
1Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.
Conference/Journal: Acupunct Med.
Date published: 2010 Sep 22
Other: Word Count: 177

OBJECTIVE: To provide information about the clinical use of acupuncture at an academic medical centre in the USA.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 904 patients (receiving 6070 treatments) who were referred for acupuncture treatment at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota, USA) between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2008. Data gathered included age, sex, primary diagnosis, number of treatments per diagnosis and health insurance carrier.

RESULTS: The mean (SD) age of the patients was 53.4 (16.2) years; 73.8% were female and 26.2% were male. The three most common diagnostic categories for which acupuncture was used were spinal pain (33.4%), pain (other) (25.1%) and joint pain (12.3%). About 42% of visits were not covered by health insurance carriers and hence patients had to pay themselves. For the remaining 58% of visits, health insurance carriers picked up all or part of the cost of the acupuncture treatments.

CONCLUSION: The results indicate that pain is the most common reason for use of acupuncture in an academic medical centre and that women use acupuncture more than men. This is one of the few reports of clinical use of acupuncture at academic medical centres in the USA.