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Attitude and willingness of attendance for participating in or completing acupuncture trials: a cross-sectional study

Authors Li X, Cao H, Zhang Y, Hu R, Lai B, Zhao N, Hu H, Xie Z, Liu JP

Received 5 May 2018

Accepted for publication 30 August 2018

Published 24 December 2018 Volume 2019:13 Pages 53—61

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S173202

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 7

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu


Xin-lin Li,1,* Hui-juan Cao,1,* Ya-jing Zhang,1 Rui-xue Hu,1 Bao-yong Lai,1 Nan-qi Zhao,1 Hui Hu,2 Zhan-guo Xie,3 Jian-Ping Liu1

1Centre for Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China; 2The Department of Acupuncture and Metabolic Diseases, Eastern Hospital Affiliated to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Fengtai District, Beijing, China; 3The Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, First People’s Hospital of Dongcheng District, Beijing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objective: To explore the influence of patients’ participation in and completing the acupuncture clinical trials through a cross-sectional survey. In addition, we explored potential factors involved in improving patient’s compliance to treatment, thus enhancing the quality of acupuncture clinical studies.
Methods: A survey was conducted at outpatient department of acupuncture and metabolic diseases in two hospitals in Beijing. The semi-structured questionnaire was designed based on literature review and Delphi methods. It contains 15 questions related to patients’ experience and attitude. SPSS 22.0 was used for analyses. OR and 95% CI were used for dichotomous outcomes. Logistic regression analysis (LRA) and multi-LRA were used to explore the factors influencing patients’ participation or completion and the relationship between demographic characteristics and potential factors.
Results: A survey was conducted from April to September 2016. Five hundred patients were consecutively sampled to fill semi-structured questionnaires regardless of their types of disease. The participants (75.2% were female) were in the age range of 15–85 years and all of them completed the survey. The effect and safety of acupuncture therapy were considered to be the deciding factors by 92% and 96% of the respondents, respectively. Only 40 of the surveyed participants (8.0%) had previously participated in the clinical trials. The LRA showed they paid more attention to treatment regimen (frequency and session of treatment) when deciding whether or not to participate in the trials (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.02–2.34). Multivariate LRA showed that elder people considered cost (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.09–1.70) to be an important factor, while the participants having medical insurance (OR 1.45, 95% CI -0.20–0.93) thought informed consent was important. Meanwhile, participants with higher education preferred regular follow-up (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.02–0.28).
Conclusion: After providing adequate information regarding the potential benefits and harms of the acupuncture treatment, completion of the treatment within the specific time regimen was found to be the most important factor affecting patient’s compliance. Other factors, such as cost and regular follow-up, should also be given special consideration.

Keywords: patient compliance, acupuncture, clinical trials, cross-sectional study

Corrigendum for this paper has been published

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