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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1998 Aug; 118(19): 2948-52.

[Physicians and other practitioners of acupuncture in Norway--education, theoretical orientation and practice]

Sagli G, Gulbrandsen P, Fugelli P.

Seksjon for sosialmedisin, Universitetet i Oslo.

We conducted a survey for the purpose of obtaining information on training, theoretical orientation and practice among various categories of practitioners of acupuncture in Norway. Particular attention was paid to physicians, compared with other groups of practitioners. A questionnaire was sent to 161 persons who had attended Norwegian Medical Acupuncture Seminars (Norske legers akupunkturkurs) and to 274 persons found under "Acupuncture" in the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory. The response rate was 80%, questionnaires being returned by 298 practitioners. A significantly higher percentage of physicians, as opposed to other practitioners, had less than 120 hours of acupuncture training. 30% of the physicians, compared to 60% in other groups, had more than 10 acupuncture consultations a week. Physicians performed only a relatively small number of different acupuncture methods. There was a relatively high number of men among the acupuncturists. Hence, acupuncture seems to be a practice with masculine appeal. 67% of the physicians used one or more Chinese medical concepts associated with acupuncture. 45% stated that they found non-scientific explanations for how acupuncture works reliable. We therefore argue that one can identify parallel processes in the development of acupuncture. Some elements of acupuncture have been integrated in a scientifically defined reality. At the same time, this survey indicates another process: it shows that many practitioners use traditional Chinese medical concepts. This may indicate that some practitioners have changed their view on what constitutes a reliable picture of reality.

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