Use of acupuncture for pain management in an academic Korean medicine hospital: a retrospective review of electronic medical records

Author: Kim KH, Kim YR, Noh SH, Kang KW, Kim JK, Yang GY, Lee BR.
Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine, Korean Medicine Hospital, Pusan National University, , Yangsan, South Korea.
Conference/Journal: Acupunct Med.
Date published: 2013 Jun
Other: Word Count: 229

This study aimed to identify the descriptive characteristics of patients with pain conditions who visited an academic medical centre for traditional Korean medicine (TKM).
This work was a retrospective review of the electronic medical records of patients who received at least one session of acupuncture for pain management from March 2010 to February 2012 in the Korean medical hospital of Pusan National University. Demographic characteristics and data on patient conditions, treatment interventions received and costs associated with acupuncture treatments were analysed.
We identified a total of 2167 patients, including 2105 outpatients and 237 inpatients. The mean age (SD) of the patients was 52.0 (15.3) years, and approximately two-thirds of the patients were women (64.0%). The average number of acupuncture treatment sessions was 8.0 (6.6 for outpatients and 14.5 for inpatients). The most treated conditions were low back pain (30.5%), neck pain (23.9%) and shoulder pain (17.5%). Interventions included needle acupuncture with manual (52.6%) or electrical (47.4%) stimulation, herbal medicine (44.2%), cupping (21.2%) and moxibustion (3.5%). Over one-third of outpatients (33.5%) received at least six sessions of acupuncture. The median total cost of each outpatient and inpatient care per person was 169 604 and 1 001 707 Korean Won (approximately £98 and £577), respectively.
Acupuncture was primarily used for the treatment of low back, neck and shoulder pain with a wide range of related interventions at an academic medical centre for traditional Korean medicine. These data reflect real clinical practice and should inform the design of future prospective clinical research of acupuncture.
PMID: 23449178