A small qualitative study in the US of older adults with several co-existing medical conditions, has found that they value acupuncture as a means of reducing medication use, and maintaining physical and mental health. Fifteen patients aged 60 or older, and with at least two chronic medical conditions, were recruited from a no-cost, college-affiliated San Diego acupuncture clinic for low-income older adults. Patients had been having acupuncture treatment for at least one year, usually on a weekly basis.
A substantial number of patients cited medication reduction as a benefit of attending the clinic. Changes in mood, energy levels, digestive disorders, skin rashes and well-being were attributed by patients to acupuncture. Patients viewed regular treatments as a way of dealing with new complaints, and encouraging a healthier lifestyle. They developed a strong trust in the ability of the clinic to support the totality of their health as individuals, and contrasted this with their more impersonal experiences of conventional healthcare.
(Long-Term Acupuncture Therapy for Low-Income Older Adults with Multimorbidity: A Qualitative Study of Patient Perceptions. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 23 October 2017.)