241454 Standardization of acupuncture in the Philippines: An assessment of the WHO guidelines on basic training and safety in acupuncture

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Paul Kadetz, PhD, MSN, MPH , Department of International Development, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
In 1996, the World Health Organization published "Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Acupuncture". Heretofore, it has been assumed that these guidelines were appropriate for the standardization of acupuncture in all country contexts. This study assessed the appropriateness of these guidelines and the outcomes from adopting these guidelines for a standardized curriculum for acupuncture for the Department of Health of the Republic of the Philippines.

A sample of 150 physicians, nurses and allied health workers were trained in a standardized acupuncture curriculum (according to WHO guidelines). Their ability to progress through the curriculum was assessed through standardized written and practical examination at the end of each two-week course of a three course training. The practice of students who completed the full six- weeks of training and were practicing acupuncture was compared to the practice of students who did not complete the full training and were practicing. The appropriateness of standardized training was further assessed through interview with key stakeholders in the Department of Health; the Philippine Acupuncture Association, and the students themselves.

The successful implementation of a standardized curriculum for acupuncture adhering to WHO guidelines is a function of government regulation and enforcement of such training through certification. For, although, the curriculum established from the guidelines proved appropriate, standardization of acupuncture training can be understood to be challenged in the Philippines by virtue of the lack of enforcement capabilities by the regulatory body for acupuncture certification in the Philippines, as well as by virtue of a decentralized healthcare system.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate an understanding of WHO guidelines for acupuncture Evaluate the success of these guidelines in establishing a standardised curriculum in the Philippines Identify the reasons for the standardisation of a curriculum in acupuncture

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research solely by myself.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.