Acupuncture has been shown to improve pain and other health outcomes in children and is well tolerated. However, use of acupuncture by pediatric medical providers is rare, in part due to the cost and time associated with formal training. We aimed to develop an abbreviated acupuncture curriculum and assess its impact and acceptability with academic pediatricians.
In this pilot study, pediatricians received instruction in two acupuncture protocols for treating acute and chronic pain (Battlefield Acupuncture and Four Gates) during a 10-hour course developed by board-certified medical acupuncturists. Learning methods included an online module with videos and articles, 2 live workshops, and additional home practice. Participants completed a skills-based exam and pre- and post-tests measuring knowledge and attitudes about acupuncture treatment.
Forty-five physicians (divided among 3 cohorts) began the acupuncture training course, and 38 (84.4%) completed all components. The course significantly increased participants’ perceived efficacy of acupuncture for acute and chronic pain. Participants showed significant improvement in acupuncture knowledge. All participants agreed that the course would influence their current medical practice, and all participants felt confident utilizing basic acupuncture. Additionally, all participants indicated that they would recommend the abbreviated acupuncture curriculum to a colleague.
Pediatricians became proficient in two acupuncture protocols with a 10-hour curriculum and found the format and content highly acceptable. Future plans include studying acupuncture implementation and expanding the course to other departments and institutions.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.