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Doctors’ and Nurses’ Attitudes of Acupuncture and Acupressure use in Perioperative Care: An Australian National Survey

Published:September 21, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2022.08.008

      Highlights

      • Positive attitudes among Australian nurses and doctors towards AA use in perioperative care.
      • Perioperative nurses are willing to embrace AA despite a low level of knowledge and personal exposure.
      • Majority of perioperative nurses want AA education.

      ABSTRACT

      Background

      Acupuncture and acupressure are not being systematically used in the management of postoperative nausea and vomiting and pain, despite being included in the guidelines.

      Aim

      To examine the beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge of Australian nurses/midwives and doctors toward the perioperative use of AA for the management of postoperative nausea and vomiting and pain; to explore the barriers and enablers influencing acupuncture and acupressure integration into hospital setting.

      Methods

      A mixed-mode approach was undertaken for data collection. An online approach was used to recruit respondents from Australian College of Perioperative Nurses. Three hospitals from three different Australian states were selected via convenience sampling.

      Results

      A total of 421 usable surveys were included in data analysis. The respondents comprised 14.3% doctors and 72.9% nurses/midwives. Overall, 69.4% were female, 85% were trained in Australia with 35% and 51.4% having knowledge or personal exposure to AA in general respectively. Over 60% of the respondents agreed AA should be routinely integrated into perioperative care, and over 80% would recommend AA to their patients if it was provided at their hospital, and, 75% would be willing to receive further education. The three main reported barriers included: perceived lack of scientific evidence (80.9%), unavailability of credentialed provider (77.2%) and lack of reimbursement (60.4%).

      Conclusions

      Positive attitudes are reported by Australian doctors and nurses toward AA. This is despite of low levels of knowledge or personal exposure to AA. Further studies are required to explore the implementation of barriers and address respondent calls for further education.
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