Childbearing age women's attitudes, beliefs and practices to using acupuncture in pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period

Heidi Williams, Linda Sweet, Kristen Graham

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Acupuncture is currently not offered in publicly funded maternity care in Australia and women currently access acupuncture for birth related concerns by qualified acupuncturists for a fee. Whilst there is evidence of the efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatments for women, it is unknown whether current childbearing aged women would make use of this type of service by a midwife. Midwives in Australia are training to provide acuneedling (an acupuncture term for midwives who are trained and competent to provide a treatment to women during the perinatal period only, for certain conditions and on certain acupuncture points). Acupuncture by a midwife is currently offered to women during the perinatal period in Europe and New Zealand.

Aim: The aim of the project is to determine childbearing aged women's attitudes, beliefs and practices to using acupuncture during pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period.

Methods: An anonymous, descriptive survey will be used with a survey link distributed among women in the Hunter and Central Coast regions of New South Wales, Australia via Facebook groups and pages. This specific region is the focus of the study as a group of local midwives undertook training to provide an acupuncture service. Women from other regions are also welcome to complete the survey. Respondents will answer questions in relation to demographics, pregnancy, use of acupuncture, and their attitudes and beliefs to acupuncture during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period. The survey will be piloted with a small group of women and for reliability test-retest two weeks apart. Ethics approval has been granted by the Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee.

Results: The survey is currently open and results are not yet available.

Conclusion and implications: Understanding childbearing aged women's attitudes, beliefs and practices to using acupuncture during the perinatal period will provide awareness to consumers and health professionals. If research findings are positive, woman may be provided with choice of an adjunct or alternative treatment dependent upon hospital guidelines. In turn, choice may improve birth outcomes and enhance birth experiences. The outcome of the research will also inform future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages37
Number of pages1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Event20th ACM National Conference 2017: Calling all midwives: The truth is out there! - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 30 Oct 20172 Nov 2017
Conference number: 20

Conference

Conference20th ACM National Conference 2017
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period30/10/172/11/17

Keywords

  • pregnancy
  • Acupuncture
  • survey

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