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Safety, Effectiveness, and Professional Judgment: A Survey of Training-Related Perspectives Among Physiotherapists Who Practise Acupuncture in Ontario

Physiother Can. 2022 Jan 7;74(3):306-315. doi: 10.3138/ptc-2020-0116. eCollection 2022 Aug.


Purpose: Physiotherapists practise various forms of acupuncture worldwide, but no international consensus exists as to the appropriate duration of related training programs. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to characterize the training-related backgrounds and views of acupuncture-practising physiotherapists. Method: A total of 426 physiotherapists who practised acupuncture in Ontario completed an online survey that included training-related items and an open-ended question (39 provided training-related responses). Statistical analyses included multivariate and multinomial logistical regression models. Thematic analysis was used to interpret respondents’ textual responses to the open-ended question. Results: Respondents, who practised predominantly Western medical acupuncture, dry needling, or both, had completed acupuncture-related training programs ranging from < 25 to ≥ 300 hours. Those who had completed programs lasting > 100 hours were significantly more likely to self-report excellent clinical results and an enhanced ability both to recruit and retain patients and to earn a higher income. They were also more likely to endorse longer trainings as necessary for safe and effective patient care. Respondents to the open-ended question expressed a range of views, including the need for more stringent training requirements. Conclusions: PT regulatory requirements for longer (>100 hour) acupuncture trainings may better support clinical effectiveness and safety, patient satisfaction, and professional outcomes.

PMID:37325209 | PMC:PMC10262825 | DOI:10.3138/ptc-2020-0116


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