Lifestyle and health behaviour change in traditional acupuncture practice: A systematic critical interpretive synthesis
Introduction: Behavioral factors are the leading cause of ill-health worldwide. Diet, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption are the focus of public health targets on promotion of healthy behavior. The science of behavior change is rapidly growing and has largely evolved within mainstream health care treatments. Traditional Chinese Medicine includes self-care practices that encourage healthy behavior alongside treatments such as acupuncture. Exploring behavior change within traditional acupuncture could potentially highlight new techniques and approaches, and contribute to developing models of behavior change. Aims: In this review, the authors aimed to critically appraise research exploring health behavior change within traditional acupuncture, to highlight gaps in the field, identify questions, and enable theory development. Design/Method: The authors were guided by a critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) method to explore a diverse mixture of research including qualitative and quantitative articles. Eight databases were searched up to October 2017 for articles published in English. Eleven thousand four hundred eighty-eight articles were identified (7,149 after deduplication). Titles and abstracts were screened by one reviewer (10% by a second reviewer). Eligible articles were selected using a Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome framework. CIS methods, including purposive sampling of eligible articles and a reflexive, dialectic process of critiquing evidence and theory, were used to synthesize the evidence. Results: Several articles examined the prevalence and patterns of behavior change and support for change, although methods varied and reliability of results was limited. There was more evidence concerning diet/exercise than alcohol/smoking. Aspects of acupuncturists' work identified as potential key elements for promoting behavior change included: individualized advice based on symptoms; holistic/biopsychosocial explanations; therapeutic relationship; simultaneous treatment of behavior-limiting symptoms; and patients' physical involvement with intervention. A logic model of the process of behavior change was developed, proposing that perceived support, mutual understanding, and active participation may facilitate change. Possible moderators included: single/multicomponent acupuncture; setting; patient/practitioner characteristics; treatment experience; timing; and treatment duration. Conclusion: These findings suggest behavior change work is a significant part of traditional acupuncture practice, although more reliable evidence is needed to understand the effectiveness, prevalence, and patterns of this work (in particular the patterns suggesting acupuncturists are more likely to work on changes to diet and physical activity than alcohol and smoking behaviors, and more likely to support changes in long-term compared with acute conditions). The proposed model of behavior change should be developed and tested with a view to refining the model and elaborating the suggested links with a wider theory of behavior and behavior change.
Pinto, Jonquil W
Bishop, Felicity L