A majority of people in the United States use complementary and alternative therapies, and this use is increasing. With the increasing interest, providers must evaluate potential risks and benefits of these therapies. This article describes challenges of a feasibility study of acupuncture as a potential therapeutic adjunct to prevent atrial fibrillation following coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Institutional review board approval, consent logistics, implementation issues, and rapid changes in clinical practice were the primary challenges faced. Unique technological features of the institution helped address these challenges. The study protocol was acceptable to staff, patients, and family and was considered safe for these patients. However, the protocol was not feasible as designed; therefore, the efficacy of acupuncture could not be determined. Continued research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture to prevent atrial fibrillation following coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Recommendations for future studies of complementary and alternative therapies in acute and critical care settings are offered.
Challenges of Implementing a Feasibility Study of Acupuncture in Acute and Critical Care Settings
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Ruth Lindquist, Sue Sendelbach, Denise C. Windenburg, Arin VanWormer, Diane Treat-Jacobson, David Chose; Challenges of Implementing a Feasibility Study of Acupuncture in Acute and Critical Care Settings. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 April 2008; 19 (2): 202–210. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/15597768-2008-2013
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