Aim: To pilot the delivery of shiatsu in primary care and investigate the non-clinical impact on the general practice, its patients and staff.
Design: Ten patients, referred by four GPs, were each offered six shiatsu treatments with a qualified practitioner.
Setting: An inner-city general practice in Sheffield, England.
Methods: 36 semi-structured interviews, evaluated with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and practitioner research including a reflective journal.
Findings: GPs welcomed having more options of care, especially for patients with complex, chronic symptoms, and patients appreciated the increased time and holistic, patient-centred approach during shiatsu consultations. Participants claimed the clinic increased equality of access to complementary medicine, improved perceptions of the general practice, reduced consultation and prescription rates, enhanced GP-patient relationships and the working practices of the GPs and shiatsu practitioner.
Conclusion: The study successfully integrated a shiatsu clinic into a general practice and offers a model for future research on complementary medicine in primary care.
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