UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Center for Integrated Primary Care

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Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine


Introduction: The field of implementation science is the study of methods that promote the uptake of evidence-based interventions into healthcare policy and practice. While acupuncture has gained significant traction in the American healthcare landscape, its journey has been somewhat haphazard and non-linear.

Methods: In June 2019, a group of thirty diverse stakeholders was convened by the Society for Acupuncture Research with the support of a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Eugene Washington Engagement Award. This group of stakeholders represented a diverse mix of patients, providers, academicians, researchers, funders, allied health professionals, insurers, association leaders, certification experts, and military program developers. The collective engaged in discussion that explored acupuncture's status in healthcare, including reflections on its safety, effectiveness, best practices, and the actual implementation of acupuncture as seen from diverse stakeholder viewpoints.

Objectives: A primary goal was to consider how to utilize knowledge from the field of implementation science more systematically and intentionally to disseminate information about acupuncture and its research base, through application of methods known to implementation science. The group also considered novel challenges that acupuncture may present to known implementation processes.

Findings: This article summarizes the initial findings of this in-person meeting of stakeholders and the ongoing discussion among the subject matter experts who authored this report. The goal of this report is to catalyze greater conversation about how the field of implementation science might intersect with practice, access, research, and policymaking pertaining to acupuncture. Core concepts of implementation science and its relationship to acupuncture are introduced, and the case for acupuncture as an Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is established. The status of the field and current environment of acupuncture is examined, and the perspectives of four stakeholder groups--patients, two types of professional practitioners, and researchers--are explored in more detail.


acupuncture, acupuncture research, implementation and dissemination, stakeholders

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

DOI of Published Version



Miller DW, Roseen EJ, Stone JAM, Gardiner P, Olson J, Rosen S, Wayne P, Davis R, Coeytaux R; PCORI-SAR Stakeholder Group. Incorporating Acupuncture Into American Healthcare: Initiating a Discussion on Implementation Science, the Status of the Field, and Stakeholder Considerations. Glob Adv Health Med. 2021 Aug 25;10:21649561211042574. doi: 10.1177/21649561211042574. PMID: 34471570; PMCID: PMC8404666. Link to article on publisher's site

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Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Global advances in health and medicine

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License