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J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Nov;14(9):1083-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0225.

Patient outcomes at a traditional Chinese medicine teaching clinic: a prospective data collection project.

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Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies, Northwestern Health Sciences University, 2501 West 84th Street, Bloomington, MN 55431, USA.



The purpose of this study was to describe patients who seek treatment at an acupuncture and Oriental medicine teaching clinic in the United States, and to systematically measure and describe patients' responses after treatment using a prospective study design.


This is a prospective survey of clinic patients at intake and one month following the initial treatment. SETTINGS AND LOCATION: Data were collected in an acupuncture and Oriental medicine teaching clinic located in Bloomington, Minnesota.


Of 661 new patients who met eligibility criteria, 485 consented to participate.


Patients were administered two self-report questionnaires: one prior to their initial treatment, and a second sent by mail one month later.


Data collected at intake included demographics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, and employment, as well as main presenting complaint and chronicity. Patients were also asked at intake whether they had consulted with another health care provider, if they were under continued care, and if they had previous experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment. Outcome measures included severity, improvement, and satisfaction. Patients were additionally asked if they continued with TCM care for their presenting condition.


Demographics of patients presenting to this teaching clinic were similar to those reported in other outpatient TCM settings. The majority of patients had no previous experience with TCM, and a large percentage was referred by students. Pain was the most common presenting condition, followed closely by wellness care. One month following treatment, most patients reported improvement and satisfaction with care.


Standardized data collection and follow-up resulted in a description of patients and outcomes in an acupuncture and Oriental medicine teaching clinic, which can be used for research, educational, quality assurance, and marketing purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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