The relevance of acupuncture research evidence for acupuncture practitioners has a number of aspects.
Firstly, when evidence is strong enough, it leads to the inclusion of acupuncture as a treatment option in clinical practice guidelines developed by governments and peak medical advisory bodies. This in turn translates into referral streams to acupuncturists from medical practitioners, and increased credibility within mainstream medicine. It also encourages government health funding systems and providers of health insurance to include acupuncture in their available services. Secondly, familiarity with the strength of evidence for different conditions assists practitioners to promote their practices through advertising and to inform their patients in a way that is accurate and evidence-based. Thirdly, it is important that practitioners have greater awareness of the increasing quantity and quality of acupuncture research so that they can feel confident to advocate for their profession.
This course will examine a recent review of systematic reviews of acupuncture research, The Acupuncture Evidence Project. Background information about how evidence levels and evidence quality are assessed in acupuncture research will be included. The methodology, process and outcomes of the Acupuncture Evidence Project, of which the presenter was co-author, will be presented.
- To understand the relevance of acupuncture research evidence for acupuncture practitioners
- To develop an understanding of how acupuncture research is assessed for evidence quality using CONSORT, STRICTA and GRADE systems
- To develop an understanding of the current state of acupuncture research, and its strengths and weaknesses
- To examine the Acupuncture Evidence Project including the review methodology, process and outcomes.
- To be able to relate the evidence quality levels from the Acupuncture Evidence Project to planning advertising for clinical practices.
- Introduction to the Acupuncture Evidence Project, evidence levels, quality of evidence, CONSORT and STRICTA reporting systems, risk of bias assessment and evidence quality assessment using the GRADE system
- The Acupuncture Evidence Project: background, methodology, process, outcomes and the significance of the evidence level outcomes
- Applying evidence levels from the Acupuncture Evidence Project to advertising; Australian and New Zealand advertising guidelines and how to ensure that therapeutic claims in advertising are evidence-based
- Different sources of evidence: Systematic reviews, meta-analyses and network meta-analyses and how these inform clinical practice guidelines; Clinical practice guidelines as evidence; Available resources on acupuncture research and how to use these to communicate effectively with patients, other health professionals and health policy-makers; International collaborations to create resources on acupuncture research for practitioners
- Questions and discussion
Dr John McDonald, PhD commenced acupuncture studies in Australia in 1971, clinical practice in 1975 and teaching acupuncture in 1977. In 1975 John blended his previous training as a psychiatric nurse with acupuncture to establish an acupuncture detoxification programme at the New South Wales Health Commission’s Narcotics Dependency Programme in Sydney. John has been a pioneer in developing acupuncture education in Australia in curriculum development and as a Dean, Department Head, senior lecturer and course coordinator in a number of colleges and universities. John was the inaugural President of the Australian Council for Chinese Medicine Education. In 2006 John participated in the finalising of the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Region Standard for Acupuncture Point Locations. Among John’s publications are the textbook “Zang Fu Syndromes: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment” co-authored with Dr Joel Penner from Los Angeles, seven peer-reviewed journal papers, 19 other journal papers, more than 30 health magazine articles and four videos. Recently John has, with Stephen Janz, co-authored a comparative literature review, The Acupuncture Evidence Project, sponsored and published by the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association of Australia Ltd (AACMA).
Currently John is an Adjunct Senior-Lecturer in the School of Medicine at Griffith University (where he conducted his PhD research into the immunological mechanisms underpinning the effects of acupuncture in allergic rhinitis). John is also Vice-President for Research of the Acupuncture Now Foundation, a lecturer and member of the Curriculum Advisory Committee at the Endeavour College of Natural Health and a reviewer for various peer-reviewed journals including Nature, BMJ, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies. John has also recently been appointed to the Editorial Board of Digital Chinese Medicine at Hunan University of Chinese Medicine.