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Qual Health Res. 2014 Sep;24(9):1242-52. doi: 10.1177/1049732314544969. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Integrating acupuncture in an inpatient setting.

Author information

  • 1Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  • 2Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.
  • 3College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown, New Jersey, USA.


Acupuncture, a licensed health care profession in the United States, is poorly integrated into the American health care system, despite the evidence of its effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to offer a phenomenological description of the experience of acupuncturists who delivered acupuncture care in a tertiary teaching hospital in New York City. We analyzed data using methodology proposed by Colaizzi and identified four major clusters of themes: (a) acupuncturists' excitement about practicing in a hospital setting and frustration about organizational obstacles to effective acupuncture integration; (b) pride in being holistic practitioners; (c) attempts to preserve the holism and effectiveness of acupuncture while adjusting to the limitations of an inpatient setting, and (d) acupuncturists' realization that the medical staff knew very little about acupuncture and "it's all about trust." Practitioners of other healing traditions and therapies might find our study helpful in their own efforts toward similar integration.

© The Author(s) 2014.


health care administration; health care, alternative and complementary; health care, interprofessional; health care, teamwork; health care, transcultural; health policy / policy analysis; lived experience; phenomenology; research, interdisciplinary; research, qualitative

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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