Evidence-Based Acupuncture

July 23, 2019

General Information
Duration 1 semester (14 teaching weeks)
Level Year 4, Semester 7
Unit Weighting Unit Credit Points: 10 credit points
Total Course Credit Points: 320 credit points
Student Workload Number of timetabled hours per week: 4
Number of personal study hours per week: 6
Total workload hours per week: 10
Prerequisites ACU207 TCM Practice 1 (Acupuncture Techniques)
Academic Details
Description This unit aims to provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of the clinical application of acupuncture for the effective management of pain and chronic disease. Students explore contemporary evidence-based research findings on the effectiveness and limits of acupuncture in the treatment and management of chronic pain. Students will study the neurophysiology of acupuncture; learn to critically assess its application in a range of clinical settings and practices; and develop problem-solving and decision-making skills in the prognosis and treatment management of patients through acupuncture. The unit aims to deepen and broaden students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of the clinical application and evaluation of acupuncture and its contribution and limitations to the management and treatment of pain and its application and integration within the Western medical approach to chronic pain management. The importance and awareness of consideration of cultural sensitivities within the Australian healthcare context to acupoints, a commitment to appropriate reporting of adverse events and the implementation of appropriate first aid measures when a patient displays an adverse reaction to treatment, and ensure prompt transfer to medical services where necessary will be emphasised. The desire to achieve excellence in the practice of acupuncture and to contribute to improving both the quality of life of patients and the wellbeing of the community and the environment will be a key feature in the teaching and learning of this unit.
Learning outcomes
    1. Describe the neurophysiology of acupuncture and different types of pain.
    2. Explain the complexity of pain and the limitations associated with the current management of pain.
    3. Describe the aetiology, pathogenesis and mechanism of the symptoms of pain in TCM and Western medicine with reference to the Australian healthcare context and justify the selection of an appropriate treatment option for pain management to improve the quality of life of patients and the wellbeing of the community and the environment.
    4. Drawing on evidence-based research findings, describe the interaction between acupuncture and commonly used medications in the management of pain in appreciation of Australia’s multi-cultural/racial healthcare context.
    5. Demonstrate clinical proficiency and excellence in the examination of pain through the application of new techniques and knowledge to improve the quality of life of patients and the wellbeing of the community and the environment.
    6. Critically evaluate the strengths and limits of the acupuncture treatment, the effects of integrating new evidence-based findings into the assessment and treatment of common pain symptoms in muscular- skeletal disorders, neurology, cardiology, endocrinology, rheumatology and oncology, and the necessity of referral to other medical specialist when appropriate.
Unit requirement To successfully complete the unit, students must: attend 80% of all the lectures and tutorial classes; attempt all assessment tasks including summative and formative assessments and achieve at least 50% of the total marks; and achieve a mark of at least 40% in the final examination.
Assessment Assessment 1: Practical Test 30%

Assessment 2: Literature Review 30%

Assessment 3: Final Examination 40%

Prescribed text Bäcker, M., &Hammes, M. G. (Eds.). (2010). Acupuncture in the treatment of pain: An integrative approach. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

White A, Cummings M, Filshie J. (2008). An Introduction to Western Medical Acupuncture: Churchill Livingstone.

Recommended readings Acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. 2007 October 1, 2007; 45(10):76-9.

Brinkhaus B, Witt CM, Jena S, et al. Acupuncture in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arch Intern Med. 2006 February 27, 2006; 166(4):450-7.

Cheng, X., Cheng, Y., & Deng, L. (2010). Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion (3thed.). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Avins AL, et al. A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med. 2009 May 11, 2009; 169(9):858-66.

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (2013). Infection prevention and control guidelines for acupuncture practice. Available at http://www.chinesemedicineboard.gov.au/Codes- Guidelines.aspx(Accessed 01/09/2013).

Deadman, P., Al-Khafaji, M., & Baker, K. (2007). A manual of acupuncture (2nd ed.). Hove, East Sussex: Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.

Ernst E, Lee MS. Acupuncture for rheumatic conditions: an overview of systematic reviews. Rheumatology. 2010 October 1, 2010; 49(10):1957-61.

Kong JC, Lee MS, Shin B-C, et al. Acupuncture for functional recovery after stroke: a systematic review of sham-controlled randomized clinical trials. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2010 November 9, 2010; 182(16):1723-9.

Lu W, Dean-Clower E, Doherty-Gilman A, et al. The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care. Haematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2008; 22(4):631-48.

Manheimer E, Linde K, Lao L, et al. Meta-analysis: Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2007 June 19, 2007; 146(12):868-77.

National Health and Medical Research Council (2010). Australian Guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare.Australian Government: Canberra. Available at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/node/30290(Accessed 04/09/2013)

Painaustralia. National Pain Strategy 2010. Available at: http://www.painaustralia.org.au/the- national-pain-strategy/national-pain-strategy.html (accessed on 9/11/2014).

Schröder S, Liepert J, Remppis A, et al. Acupuncture treatment improves nerve conduction in peripheral neuropathy. European Journal of Neurology. 2007; 14(3):276-81.

Thomas KJ, MacPherson H, Thorpe L; et al. Randomised controlled trial of a short course of traditional acupuncture compared with usual care for persistent non-specific low back pain. BMJ. 2006; 333(7569):623.

Vincent A, Barton DL, Mandrekar JN, et al. Acupuncture for hot flashes: a randomized, sham- controlled clinical study. Menopause. 2007; 14(1):45-52 10.1097/01.gme.0000227854.27603.7d.

World Health Organization. Acupuncture: review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials. Available at: http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/pdf/s4926e/s4926e.pdf. (accessed on 9/11/2014)

Wu P, Mills E, Moher D, et al. Acupuncture in Poststroke Rehabilitation. Stroke. 2010 April 1, 2010; 41(4):e171-e9.