A survey of the socio-demographics and practice characteristics of members of the Australian acupuncture and chinese medicine association Ltd

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, 2014, 9 (1), pp. 13 - 19
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© 2014, Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association. All rights reserved. Background: The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) is the largest national professional body for Chinese medicine practitioners in Australia yet little is known about specific practice characteristics of its members. Method: In December 2006, a four-page questionnaire was mailed to all association members listed on the AACMA database for that year. The questionnaire sought to obtain information on the demographics and practice characteristics of the AACMA members. In total 1 520 questionnaires were mailed out to the AACMA members, of which 386 were returned. Results: The age distribution for respondents was bimodal, with those in the 46-50 and 31-35 brackets being the highest reported ranges. With regard to education, most respondents stated they had obtained their practice qualifications in Australia (n = 279; 73%), while 46 (12%) replied they had received their qualification from overseas. Most respondents replied that they had obtained a Bachelor degree (n = 207; 54%) while 58 (15%) reported having a Diploma and 37 an Advanced Diploma (9%). Concerning practice characteristics, nearly 70% (n = 268) reported that they practised more than 20 hours per week, with significantly more females working fewer than 20 hours compared to males (p = 0.006). When a breakdown of the pattern of modality use was undertaken, approximately 31% (n = 121) of respondents reported using a combination of both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, while 20% (n = 77) stated they used acupuncture solely while only 0.5% (n = 2) used herbal medicine alone. The remainder used various combinations involving acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese remedial massage (Tuina) and/or Western remedial massage. Conclusion: This is the first time a survey of members of a particular Chinese medicine (CM) association has been undertaken in Australia. To further develop CM, a large scale survey needs to be undertaken to further define and establish the social demographics and practices of the newly nationally registered CM profession.
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