JTA Update

Comrades! Our data party is a big success!

Two weeks into the JTA, we’re closing in on 800 responses. Given that this is the first JTA we’ve ever done ( believe me, it won’t be the last!), this is fantastic. It’s even better when you consider that we didn’t have any money in our budget to buy acupuncturist mailing lists, so this response rate represents: 1) the big effort that POCA members made to draw on social media and their personal connections; and 2) some very hard work, mostly by POCA Tech students, to scour the internet for acupuncturists’ published email addresses.

As you all know, JTAs can be used for many different purposes. Since this is our first time doing one, our learning curve has been steep and at times we went back and forth on what our ultimate goal was. (I’m trying to phrase this carefully because this post is for public consumption, so please bear with me.) You can think of our process with the JTA as a series of concentric circles.

The inmost circle, the core, is that we want an official, psychometrically valid description of what a POCA punk does in a POCA clinic so that we can use it to develop the curriculum at POCA Tech. This is important for POCA Tech’s accreditation process.

The next circle out would be, how does that compare and contrast to what conventional acupuncturists are doing in private room practices? We had no idea how many responses of this kind we’d get and the good news is, we got a lot! Big thanks to the American Society of Acupuncturists and any number of state associations for encouraging their members to answer the survey.

And the outermost circle represents our general obsession with data and our desire to know WTF is going on with the acupuncture profession in general.

All through the process of designing and rolling out the JTA we’ve been consulting with our psychometrian, Tara McNaughton, at Measurement Incorporated. And based on what she’s telling us we’re revising some parameters of the JTA. The really good news is, according to Tara, to get a valid profile of what a POCA punk does in a POCA clinic, we pretty much have enough data right now to accomplish our core purpose. Apparently a “normal” response rate for a JTA is about 30%, and we’ve gotten responses from about 30% of POCA punk members. But that also means that if we were to satisfy our curiosity about the rest of the profession in a psychometrically valid way ---  if we believe the numbers from Acupuncture Today’s L.Ac. density maps that there are about 32,000 L.Acs so -- we would need over 9000 responses. When it comes to data gathering (and other things) POCA is like the little engine that could, but we’re just not going to get 9000 responses to our JTA. Perhaps the NCCAOM will get 9000 responses to their JTA? We won’t, though, so let’s not wear ourselves out trying.

So based on advice from Tara, we are closing our JTA as of July 15th. That’s a full month which is typical for a JTA. And we’re revising our goal down to 1000 responses because we think that’s a nice round number and also, attainable. (Tara says 800 is enough for POCA purposes but our fabulous JTA volunteers are still in high gear, so I don’t think we’re done, even though we could call it a day.) We’ll learn a lot from those 1000 responses.

So! What does this mean for you? If you are a POCA punk working in a POCA clinic and you haven’t filled out the survey, your information is still extremely important to us and we really really want it! Please fill it out! All POCA clinics are going to be getting phone calls either to thank you for filling out the JTA or to beg you to do so.

Also! The finale of our party will be when we release the report on the data and present it -- at POCAfest! So please come to POCAfest and geek out with us.

This story was posted on June 26 2017 by Lisafer.

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