An audit was performed over one year on all patients undergoing acupuncture for a variety of conditions in a single-handed GP practice. The patients were observed for a further year to assess the effectiveness and duration of the treatment effect. Using the ‘measure yourself medical outcome profile’ (MYMOP) questionnaire, the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment was measured, and patients were categorised into no effect, improved or much improved. A total of 140 patients were audited over the one-year period. No effect was seen in 31% of patients, a further 31% were improved, and 38% were much improved. Those with a shorter duration of symptoms appeared to show the most benefit. During the one-year post-treatment observation period 50% of patients required further treatment.
In conclusion, acupuncture appears to have been an effective treatment in the author’s General Practice population. In this audit acupuncture seems to have had a short duration of effect. It is believed that this has lead to an increase in workload, not only as a result of patient demand, but also due to recurrence of symptoms following the initial success of treatment.