Evidence-Based Acupuncture

General Information
Duration 1 semester
Level Year 4, Semester 1
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 ACU302 Acupuncture Microsystems.
Academic Details
Description This unit explores contemporary evidence-based research findings on the effectiveness and limitations of acupuncture in the treatment and management of chronic pain and chronic disorders. This unit aims to enhance, deepen, and extend knowledge and understanding about the clinical application of acupuncture and its effectiveness in the management of pain and chronic diseases and complements other acupuncture studies from previous units (ACU107, ACU202, ACU207 and ACU302).
Throughout this unit, students 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 diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with acupuncture. Acupuncture treatment issues are also covered including its contributions and limitations, infection control and prevention, appropriate referral and transfer to other medical services, and the reporting of adverse events.
Learning outcomes Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Describe the basic neurophysiology of acupuncture.
  2. Compare traditional Chinese medicine (CM) and Western medicine (WM) perspectives on the treatment of common chronic disorders.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in the clinical examination and the safe management of pain using acupuncture.
  4. Evaluate the findings of evidence-based research on the treatment of acupuncture for common chronic diseases.
  5. Review the risks, precautions and contraindications related to interactions between acupuncture and other therapeutic approaches for pain management.
Assessment Quiz (10%)
Literature Review (35%)
Practical Test (25%)
Case Study Analysis (30%)
Prescribed Textbooks/Readings * The prescribed and recommended readings are subject to annual review.

Cherkin D. C., Sherman, K. J., Avins, A. L., Erro, J. H., Ichikawa, L., Barlow, W. E., Delaney, K., Hawkes, R., Hamilton, L., Pressman, A., Khalsa, P. S., & Deyo, R. A. (2009). A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine (1960)169(9), 858–866. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2009.65

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. (2022, November 7). Infection prevention and control guidelines for acupuncture practice. https://www.chinesemedicineboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines/Infection-prevention.aspx

Ernst, E., & Lee, M. S. (2010). Acupuncture for rheumatic conditions: an overview of systematic reviews. Rheumatology (Oxford, England)49(10), 1957–1961. https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keq180

Fen, Z. (2003). Two-hundred and ten cases of shoulder pedarthritis treated by needling Lingxia and Sanjian. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine23(3), 201–202.

Han, J-S. (2004). Acupuncture and endorphins. Neuroscience Letters 361(1-3), 258-261. https://doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2003.12.019

Hu, H., Shen, Y., Li, X., Tian, H., Li, X., Li, Y., Cheng, Y., Wu, L., & Han, D. (2021). Efficacy of Electroacupuncture Therapy iwithtients With Postherpetic Neuralgia: Study Protocol for a Multicentre, Randomized, Controlled, Assessor-Blinded Trial. Frontiers in Medicine8, 624797–624797. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.624797

Kong, J. C., Lee, M. S., Shin, B.-C., Song, Y.-S., & Ernst, E. (2010). Acupuncture for functional recovery after stroke: a systematic review of sham-controlled randomized clinical trials. Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ)182(16), 1723–1729. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.091113

Lu, W., Dean-Clower, E., Doherty-Gilman, A., & Rosenthal, D. S. (2008). The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care. Hematology/oncology Clinics of North America22(4), 631–648. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hoc.2008.04.005

Manheimer, E., Linde, K., Lao, L., Bouter, L. M., & Berman, B. M. (2007). Meta-analysis: Acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. Annals of Internal Medicine146(12), 868–877. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-146-12-200706190-00008

National Health and Medical Research Council. (2019, May). Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare. https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-guidelines-prevention-and-control-infection-healthcare-2019

Reynolds, J. A., Bland, J. M., & MacPherson, H. (2008). Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome – an exploratory randomised controlled trial. Acupuncture in Medicine: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, 26(1), 8–16. https://doi.org/10.1136/aim.26.1.8

Wang, Z-J., & Zou, Y. (2012). Observation on therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture at Jiaji (Ex-B 2) points plus herbal medicine for herpes zoster. Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science10(5), 313–317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11726-012-0627-4

Wu, P., Mills, E., Moher, D., & Seely, D. (2010). Acupuncture in poststroke rehabilitation: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Stroke (1970)41(4), e171–e179. https://doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.573576

Xu, J., Zhang, F., Pei, J., & Ji, J. (2018). Acupuncture for migraine without aura: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine16(5), 312–321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joim.2018.06.002

Zheng, Q, (1998). Experience in the point selection for electro-acupuncture, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 18(4), 277-281.