The Use of Acupuncture by Chinese Medicine Practitioners in the Australian Workers Compensation System: Results of a National Survey

Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian journal of acupuncture and Chinese medic, 2010, 5 (1), pp. 14 - 25
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Statutory recognition of Chinese medicine (CM) practitioners and their use of acupuncture in the treatment of injured workers does not exist in most workers compensation (WC) systems throughout Australia, even though they are an accepted part of that system. Consequently, there is little data available on the use of acupuncture and the engagement of the CM profession in this system. This paper reports on the first survey study designed to provide information on the CM profession's engagement with the WC systems and their perceptions of these systems. Results: Five hundred completed surveys were returned, which represented a response rate of 25%. Results indicate that over 50% of the CM practitioners across Australia were engaging with the various WC systems and despite this engagement were also reporting varying levels of confusion and difficulties with the WC system frameworks. There was a noted relationship between the demographic information collected (as part of the survey) and a practitioner's perception of the WC systems. Overall, practitioners' experiences of the WC system were overwhelmingly negative, irrespective of their state or territory of residence; yet, 67% of respondents reported they would like to increase their WC patient load in the future.
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