Research

The Acus research team includes well-respected scholars and practitioners of medical acupuncture. We are committed to demonstrating that acupuncture as a primary treatment modality has multiple positive and enduring effects on individual service members and veterans, as well as economic and social benefits to the nation as a whole.

2016-17 Utilization Study, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada

A 2016-17 utilization study measured the clinical impact and social perceptions of acupuncture treatment among the patients and physicians of the Family Medicine Residency Clinic. Col. Paul Crawford, MD, Director of the Nellis Family Medicine Residency Clinic, and Dr. Christy Ledford (Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences) worked with Dr. Carla Fisher (University of Florida), a specialist in qualitative health behavior science, and Acus research coordinator Daniel Shaffer. The team conducted surveys, interviewed patients and physicians, and analyzed the results for publication. To date, three peer-reviewed articles have resulted directly from this study:

  1. Crawford, MD, Paul; Donald B. Penzien, MD; and Remy Coeytaux, MD. “Reduction in Pain Medication Prescriptions and Self-Reported Outcomes Associated with Acupuncture in a Military Patient Population.” Medical Acupuncture 29:4 (2017): 229-231.
  2. Ledford, Christy J.W., PhD; Carla L. Fisher, PhD; David A. Moss, MD; and Paul F. Crawford, III, MD. “Critical Factors to Practicing Medical Acupuncture in Family Medicine: Patient and Physician Perspectives.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 31.2 (2018): 236-242.
  3. Ledford, Christy J.W., PhD; Carla L. Fisher, PhD; and Paul Crawford, MD. “A Qualitative Study of the Communication Process for Medical Acupuncture in Family Medicine.Family Medicine 50, no. 5 (2018): 353-358.

Related articles and reports also include:

  1. Crawford, Paul F., III, MD; Jedda Rupert, MD; Jeremy T. Jackson; Stevan Walkowski, DO; and Christy J.W. Ledford, PhD. “Relationship of Training in Acupuncture to Physician Burnout.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 32:3 (2019): 259-263.

Future Research

Plans include randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of medical acupuncture and assess the perceptions and behavior of patients and providers toward pain management without opioids, particularly for those living with chronic pain.