Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain: A Survey of United Kingdom Acupuncturists

Anne Majumdar, Nicola Adams, Linda Mason, Akhtar Wallymahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A survey of acupuncture practice was conducted to obtain details of practice of those affiliated to three of the main acupuncturist affiliations in the UK. The aim was to describe aspects of current practice and to compare differences between medical and non-medical practitioners. Method: Members of the BAcC, BMAS and AACP in 6 regions (n=800) were surveyed using a postal questionnaire specifically designed for the study. Results: Data was obtained from n=195 respondents. Acupuncture was provided in the NHS by 73% of BMAS members and 72% of AACP members, over 40% of whom always used acupuncture within the NHS. 12% of BAcC members provided some degree of acupuncture on the NHS. 77% of BMAS and 64% of AACP respondents also practised conventional medicine, the majority of which was in the NHS, compared with 8% of BAcC members practising conventional treatment. Conversely, 57% of BAcC members practiced other CAM compared with 28% of AACP respondents and just 10% of BMAS respondents, with BAcC members reporting stronger confidence in other CAM approaches. All affiliations were confident with traditional Chinese medicine and conventional medicine. Conditions treated with acupuncture were predominantly types of pain by BMAS and AACP but extended to other chronic conditions for BAcC respondents. Consultation times were significantly longer for BAcC members than the other groups and needling times for osteoarthritis and ear infections varied between groups. Conclusion: These results are helpful to inform the integration debate on acupuncture and the NHS in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-114
JournalJournal of Alternative Medicine Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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