Acupuncture Patient Survey at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bangkok

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Suntara Na Bangchang
Thanee Raknam
Doungdeaun Theangsunthia
Yupin Donladphan
Chutima Cheangutis
Rattanaporn Saelim



This survey-based research aimed to study the satisfaction levels, needs , problems, and suggestions regarding the service of the Traditional Chinese Medical Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. The s ample comprised 106 patients undergoing acupuncture treatment more than once during the period 1 February -30 April, 2005. Data were collected by a structured questionnaire, analyzed and reported as frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation.

Of the total number of patients, 69.8% were female. Average patient age was 57 y ears. 53.8% had bachelor degrees or higher, 17% had graduated from primary school, and 14.2% had vocational certificates. 35.8% were government officers or state enterprise employees, 22.6% housewives, and 19.8% pensioners. 76.4% came to see the doctor du e to body pain, and 18.9% of them had paralytic illnesses. 84% of patients were treated with acupuncture 2-10 times. Most showed the highest level of positive feedback f or all services. Patients fully satisfied were as follows: 96.2% f or hospitable reception; 92.5% f or convenience getting a queue card; 97.2% for well-ordered treatments; 89.6% for ease of payment; 91.5% f or adequate numbers of nurses and assistants during treatment; 93.4% for provision of information and suggestions; 94.3% f or cleanliness of the facility; 85.8% f or waiting time, and 87.7% f or treatment results. For additional needs , problems and suggestions, some patients needed to be assisted when getting out of bed. The patients also wanted some encouragement and suggestions on what to d o to improve treatment results. Difficulties experienced were availability of parking s paces, and inconvenience reserving a place in the treatment queue in the morning. Suggestions related to these problems were as follows: 1) service times should be extended, ie, times outside office hours, and Saturdays & Sundays; 2) patients should be able to reserve their treatment slots via telephone during the afternoon of the d ay before treatment; 3) the doctor should allocate more time to discuss patients’ symptoms and/or illnesses; 4) more nurses or assistants should be available to check frequently how the electrical stimulating machines are functioning and the suitability of needle placement, to fix potential problems; 5) a pamphlet that included information about what patients should do before and after each treatment should be provided; 6) during treatment, a team of assistants should take individual c are of any patient who cannot read; 7) when there are insufficient numbers of assistants, a buzzer should be available for each patients to call an assistant, if needed.

Keywords : acupuncture patient, satisfaction, traditional Chinese medicine, Hospital for Tropical Diesease

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