World Medicine and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
Refugee Friends Project
an interim report
This is a multi-seated clinic which first opened on 18 August 2021, and operates regularly on Wednesday afternoons following a schedule agreed between JRS and WM. The goal is to treat refugee friends living in the local community who already visit the JRS centre for various reasons such as food bank, legal advice, help with travel costs, learning the language and integration.
This report is a snapshot of progress to date.
A total of 24 people were treated between 18 August and 6 October 2021. The patient group was composed of refugee friends plus 2 staff members (15 male and 9 female), and a total of 75 treatments were delivered.
There are currently 8 volunteers rotating, and 2 more are due to join the group in December. All are appropriately qualified, insured and with recent DBS checks. It was pleasing to note that all the practitioners gave positive feedback about the location as well as the JRS organisation. In addition, feedback from patients regarding the treatment they received from practitioners was also very positive.
Treatments are mainly auricular, and when patients present with complaints of painful distal joints these are also treated while the patient is seated. It should be noted that there are often multiple complaints for any one patient – joint pain, headache, insomnia: and that the practitioners have noted the consistent theme of anxiety, stress and low mood among the patient cohort.
Acupuncture is known to be cumulative, and WM offer all patients a ‘course’ of 6 treatments, with an emphasis on asking patients to have at least 3 sessions to gain the most from the therapy. To evaluate the benefit accrued, we generally assess data only from those patients who have attended for 3 or more sessions. One notable result here, however, was a patient who felt 80% better after 2 treatments, decided they were happy with this result and did not attend further.
It is early days in the life of this new clinic, and to follow is an interim review of progress: please note that many have only just started on their 6 sessions and may have had only 2 or 3, however we thought it would be useful to get a snapshot of progress. Using the criteria above, the table collates data from 15 patients over 67 treatments and reports the % change to the levels of complaint severity given at the start of their first treatments.
|No change (0%)||Small change (20%)||Moderate change (40%)||Significant change (60%)||Almost recovered (80%)||Fully recovered (100%)|
|No of patients||1||7||6||0||1||0|
|% Total assessed change||6.5%||47%||40%||0%||6.5%||0%|
Overall, we are encouraged by the progress made. The clinic is becoming established at the JRS centre and WM look forward to successfully fulfilling their remit of using acupuncture to make a difference to the lives of a community who may have suffered from poverty, trauma or displacement.
Any acupuncturists who would like to volunteer with this project, please don’t hesitate to contact Barbara@worldmedicine.org.uk for more information.
For more information about the work of JRS, please see www.jrsuk.net