A survey of acupuncture patients: results from a questionnaire among a random sample in the general population in Norway
Abstract: The objective of this study is to survey attitudes to, and use of acupuncture in the general Norwegian population.An anonymous questionnaire was dispatched to a random sample of 1100 in the general population, and 653 responded (60.7%). Nineteen per cent of the general population, most often suffering from musculo-skeletal pain, had tried acupuncture treatment. Lack of effect of conventional medicine was most often given as the reason to try acupuncture.Acupuncture patients had tried other kinds of alternative medicine twice as often as others, most often homeopathy (P<0.01).Acupuncture patients visit their GP more often (P<0.01), and are more concerned about own health (P<0.0 I) than patients who have not tried acupuncture. Sixty-six per cent say they benefited from acupuncture, and 7% report that the acupuncture treatment had adverse effects. Fifty-six per cent of those with experience of acupuncture felt that doctors should recommend acupuncture for migraine patients, and 34% of those never having tried acupuncture agreed (P<0.01). Both patients who had tried acupuncture and those who had not, felt that the doctor should not interfere in the cancer patient's wish to try acupuncture.