Referral from Midwifery Acupuncturists in Aotearoa New Zealand - Barriers and Concerns


Data from a study examining participants use of acupuncture for antenatal anxiety and depression was analysed to inform about referral barriers and concerns by New Zealand midwifery acupuncturists. Most participants (60 per cent, n=27), were happy to refer to traditional acupuncturists, especially if they knew them personally (69 per cent, n=31). However, 30 per cent (n=15), had concerns about traditional acupuncturists’ knowledge of pregnancy issues, their lack of collaboration with other health providers, and specific treatments being administered by some acupuncturists. Other barriers for referral included midwives’ knowledge of acupuncture research evidence and their awareness of the different types of acupuncture and the scope of traditional acupuncture. Barriers for pregnant women were cost, the need for repeated visits, as well as their understanding of acupuncture and what it can be used to treat. In conclusion, midwifery acupuncturists are interested in referring to traditional acupuncturists; specialist obstetric acupuncture teams would likely help to remove some of the barriers that currently prevent referral of pregnant women for traditional acupuncture treatment.

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Author Lee-Ana Lowe & Debra Betts
JCM Issue JCM133
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