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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 109704, 8 pages
Research Article

Development and Validation of Acupuncture Fear Scale

1Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Received 4 February 2013; Accepted 6 March 2013

Academic Editor: Jaung-Geng Lin

Copyright © 2013 Ho-Sun Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Strong aversions to acupuncture have been an obstacle to understanding its intrinsic action of acupuncture. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the nature and extent of fear of acupuncture treatment. Our study aims to develop and validate an instrument that evaluates a patient’s fear of acupuncture treatment. Methods. We have developed an acupuncture fear scale, a 16-item instrument which assesses the acupuncture fear score and uses it to survey 275 participants in South Korea, thus testing the reliability and validity of the instrument. Results. Internal consistency was high (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.935). Test-retest reliability (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient) among 33 participants out of 275 ranged from 0.565 to 0.797 ( ). Principal component analysis revealed two factors accounting for 68% of the variance, which are painful sensation and possible adverse events, respectively. The acupuncture fear scale was positively correlated with the total of fear of pain questionnaire-III ( , ). Conclusions. The acupuncture fear scale can be a valid and reliable instrument that can measure fear of acupuncture treatment. These results strongly suggest that it would be a clinically useful tool to assess fear of acupuncture in the acupuncture clinic setting and an important instrument to understand the complex social-behavioral component of acupuncture modality.