Communication about self-care in traditional acupuncture consultations: the co-construction of individualised support and advice.Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Dec; 89(3):467-75.PE
To analyse the co-construction of self-care advice in traditional acupuncture consultations.
Analysis of 27 audio-recorded and transcribed consultations, involving 7 practitioners, augmented by integrating the data from 15 patient interviews and regular practitioner discussions.
Self-care talk was initiated equally by practitioner and patient, and was threaded through and between acupuncture consultations. It involved interactive discussions that were interwoven with other types of talk, especially life-world and acupuncture talk. Practitioner engagement in self-care talk appeared to increase with experience. The self-care talk was co-constructed within the context of a relationship that was characterised by continuity, mutuality and trust.
Self-care support and advice was integral to the practice of traditional acupuncture and individualised in terms of the patient's life-world and/or the Chinese medicine diagnosis. The co-construction of self-care talk did not replicate the asymmetry of conventional medical consultations.
The active participation of both patients and acupuncture practitioners in self-care talk may be related to professional practice that is underpinned by a holistic theory base such as Chinese medicine and is delivered in the context of therapeutic relationships based on continuity, mutuality and trust. These findings may inform professional education and the design of multi-disciplinary care pathways.