Acupuncture in urological practice--a survey of urologists in England.
Tempest H., Reynard J., Bryant RJ., Hamdy FC., Larré S.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility of obtaining cooperation from urologists in carrying out large-scale studies on the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of urological conditions, based on urologists' general views and knowledge of acupuncture. METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to 145 urologists within three training deaneries within England. RESULTS: A response rate of 70% (n=102) was achieved. The majority of urologists rated their knowledge of acupuncture as low (46%, n=46) and their general attitude towards acupuncture was neutral (54%, n=55). The majority of responding urologists (95%) thought that acupuncture may be of value in urological conditions, and acupuncture was suggested to patients by 30 urologists (29%). The urologists most likely to suggest acupuncture to their patients were typically over 40 years of age, more experienced, not in a training post, and since starting their urological career had changed their attitude towards acupuncture. In a multivariate analysis, a change of view regarding the efficacy of acupuncture was found to be the only variable significantly associated with a recommendation of acupuncture to patients. CONCLUSIONS: Although overall knowledge about acupuncture was poor, most responding urologists thought acupuncture may be useful for urological conditions. Those who had changed their views were most likely to suggest acupuncture to their patients. Acupuncture for urological conditions warrants further investigation and, as this study has shown high interest within the urological community large clinical trials involving multicentres may be feasible.