Patient feedback for acupuncture practice improvement: A survey from Mayo Clinic

Barbara S. Thomley, Saswati Mahapatra, Brent A Bauer, Molly J. Mallory, Guang xi Li, Alexander Do, Tony Y. Chon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To understand patient satisfaction with acupuncture appointment duration for the first and subsequent appointments in the plan of care, time spent with the acupuncture provider, willingness to pay for longer duration appointments, and lack of insurance coverage. Methods: Patients who were referred for an acupuncture consult to the Center for Integrative Medicine at Mayo Clinic were asked to participate in the survey in August 2014. Patients were given paper survey at time of appointment check-in and entered into Research Electronic Data Capture Survey database tool to reveal patient-reported outcomes. Results: In total, 104 of 329 patients receiving acupuncture treatment responded to the survey with a 32% response rate. Insight and recommended changes to the duration of the initial and subsequent appointments were obtained. Most patients reported that time spent with the provider (76 cases, 74%) and appointment length (74 cases, 68%) were "just right". Seventy cases (70%) of respondents indicated that they wanted longer treatment. Patients reported return appointments with duration of 30 min was not enough. Fifty-three patients (62%) were willing to pay for additional costs not covered by insurance. Conclusions: We used patient feedback to assess the acupuncture practice in a complementary and integrative medicine program. Most patients referred for the acupuncture consult appeared to be satisfied with the current level of practice. These findings were used to establish a quality improvement plan that may be implemented to improve patient satisfaction with the acupuncture practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-821
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Journal of Integrative Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • acupuncture practice
  • care survey
  • health
  • integrative medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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