People who have poor subjective health status are more likely to frequently visit acupuncture clinics, a recent study has found.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 1,409 patients (median age 58 years, 996 women) who had presented to acupuncture clinics. Frequency of visits was classified into four: <24 times, 24–47 times, 48–95 times, and ≥96 times per year. The Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire was used to evaluate subjective health.
Participants most commonly visited acupuncture clinics 48–95 times per year (38.3 percent), followed by 24–47 visits (25.1 percent) and <24 visits (19.3 percent). Only 14.3 percent of participants went to acupuncture clinics ≥96 times per year. The median physical, mental, and role/social component scores in the SF-36 were 46.6, 48.6, and 49.6, respectively.
Researchers noted significant differences in SF-36 scores according to acupuncture clinic visit frequency. For instance, those with ≥96 visits per year had a median physical component summary score of 41.9, which was much lower than those with <24 visits per year, who scored a median of 48.9 points (p<0.001). A similar effect was reported for role/social component score (p<0.001).
Multiple linear regression confirmed that frequent visits were significantly correlated with poor subjective health. Participants with ≥96 acupuncture visits in a year were more likely to report worse physical (B, –5,1 95 percent confidence interval [CI], –7.5 to –2.6; p<0.001) and mental (B, –2.6, 95 percent CI, –4.7 to –0.6; p=0.011) component summary scores than counterparts with <24 visits.
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