Integrating Acupuncture into Surgical Care



Acupuncture has been found to be effective for postoperative pain and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Surgical patients prefer
non-drug adjunct therapies. Furthermore, medical staff and nurses in perioperative field are willing to refer patients to evidence-based
acupuncture. Unfortunately acupuncture has not been integrated into postoperative care although the guidelines recommend this non-drug
therapy for some surgical related complications.

Integrating acupuncture into the mainstream medicine requires more than evidence and willingness or positive attitudes of stakeholders. The
process of integration is essentially a progress of implementation and requires knowledge and skills of implementation science.

Our RMIT group, in collaboration with Northern Hospital, implemented acupressure for PONV. Incorporating implementation science with our
learning from the project, we developed the world first implementation framework to enable the integration. The framework provides a
step-by-step approach to help clinicians and researchers to examine the evidence for implementation, select the appropriate form of
acupuncture/ acupressure, assess the settings, form teams and develop implementation strategies to meet the local needs for managing PONV.

This framework will facilitate the uptake of perioperative use of acupuncture / acupressure to enable positive impact on patient
outcome and reduce cost associated with management of PONV and postoperative pain.

Provider - TCM Academy 

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