Evidence Based Clinical Acupuncture Practice


Zaliha Omar and Amir Imran Zaid


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




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Evidence-based practice refers to clinical decision-making based on a systematic review of the scientific evidence of the risks, benefits and costs of available options for diagnostic method or treatment. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) has recommended the use of a grading system for the quality of clinical evidence. These ratings have been applied to clinical trials of acupuncture. Good clinical practice demands, amongst others, regular benchmarking, audits, review of target group needs, continuing professional development, and research and development activities. This is becoming standard practice in a number of our health institutions. In our quest for the establishment of a Malaysian integrated allopathic-traditional and complementary medical (T&CM) practice, we have to bridge the gap in evidence-based practice between modern and T&CM. Worldwide literature on T&CM, especially acupuncture research, amounts to hundreds of published papers, with at least 100 randomised controlled clinical trials in refereed medical or scientific journals. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people see a health care provider and the use of acupuncture for the condition is one of the most studied. Nine papers comprising of evidence-based clinical trials involving acupuncture treatment for back pain will be discussed.