Attitudes of GPs towards the provision of acupuncture on the NHS

Complement Ther Med. 2003 Jun;11(2):110-4. doi: 10.1016/s0965-2299(03)00042-6.


Objective: To investigate the attitudes of General Practitioners (GPs) to acupuncture, whether they think it should be available on the NHS and, if so, how it should be provided.

Design: Attitudinal postal survey.

Setting: All 65 practising GPs in the 12 GP practices of the Melton Rutland & Harborough Primary Care Group, UK.

Results: A response rate of 83% was achieved. The main findings show that 59% of GPs agreed that acupuncture should be available on the NHS, 83% agreed that it can be clinically useful and 72% that it can be cost effective. Among GPs who acknowledged the potential for an increased role for acupuncture on the NHS there was support for the provision of treatment from either medical or non-medical practitioners, delivered at either NHS or non-NHS premises, and with the NHS providing some, or all, of the required funding.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that a majority of GPs are in favour of acupuncture being more widely available on the NHS.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • National Health Programs*
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom