Engaging Practitioners in Advancing Research on Acupuncture in Pregnancy

Soliday, Elizabeth; Mammenga, Stefani; Bradshaw, Wendy; Higgins, Karen
November 2015
Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Nov2015, Vol. 21 Issue 11, p707
Academic Journal
Objectives: Women across the globe seek acupuncture to treat pregnancy concerns. Randomized controlled trials have indicated limited benefits of acupuncture in pregnancy, but field studies involving practitioners are needed to better understand the outcomes of usual care. To advance research on pregnancy acupuncture, this study engaged field-based practitioners to discuss research strategies. Settings/Location: U.S. Pacific Northwest region. Design and participants: Live focus group with regional specialized acupuncturists. Content analysis involved research team and interviewees. Results: Practitioners generally focused on patient care, although they discussed valuing research for communicating with patients and biomedical practitioners. To increase research in this area, practitioners proposed partnering with professional organizations, using social media, assuring confidentiality, and designing brief measurement tools. Conclusions: Practitioners valued evidence for specific uses and proposed several novel research strategies. On the basis of these results, a framework is proposed for building a patient-centered collaboration between research and practice communities that is responsive to paradigmatic preferences and the overarching goals of science.


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