The Reporting of Clinical Acupuncture Research: What Do Clinicians Need to Know?
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UNLABELLED: It is presently unknown what the real impact of clinical acupuncture research on practitioners is, or what kind of specific information clinicians need to find on a published paper in this field. OBJECTIVES: To develop a pilot survey instrument to evaluate clinicians' information needs when reading acupuncture research papers, and then to use it to assess the relative importance that specific clinical details may have for clinicians when reading papers on the areas of acupuncture treatment for migraine/headaches and nausea/vomiting. METHODS: The survey instrument consisted of a list of 50 clinical details grouped in four areas: practitioners, patients, diagnostic procedures, and acupuncture treatment. Questions about the relative importance of these details regarding acupuncture research in general, and on the areas of migraine/headaches and nausea/vomiting in particular, were answered by 34 medical acupuncture practitioners attending a conference. RESULTS: Most clinical details were deemed important, with the highest rating for details concerning the acupuncture treatment (M = 3.25 +/- 0.43 on a scale from 0 = not at all important to 4 = very important), and diagnostic procedures (M = 2.91 +/- 0.33). Similar results applied to the research on migraine/headaches and nausea/vomiting. CONCLUSION: For acupuncture clinical research to have a real impact in daily practice, researchers need to be sensitive to the needs of clinicians and provide enough information about clinical details on the published papers. A survey instrument like this seems to be an appropriate tool to gather information about clinicians' needs.
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