Susan Kohut

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Senior Lecturer

Email: susan.kohut@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1946-9223

Academic appointments:

  • Senior Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology (2009 - ongoing)
  • Associate Head Postgraduate, School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology (2015 - 2017)
  • Physiotherapy representative for the Acupuncture Evidence Based Review Expert Reference Group, Accident Compensation Corporation (2017 - 2019)
  • Physiotherapy representative for the ACC publication on Temporomandibular disorders Peer Review Forum, Accident Compensation Corporation (2014 - 2014)

Qualifications:

  • MHSc, Auckland University of Technology
  • Registered Physiotherapy Acupuncturist, Physiotherapy Acupuncture Association of New Zealand
  • Certificate of Tertiary Teaching, Auckland University of Technology

Overview:

My research interests focus on acupuncture (particularly Western medical acupuncture) within physiotherapy. I am one of the foremost researchers and academics for the field of Western medical acupuncture in New Zealand. My research has garnered international attention, hence I was invited to join the International Acupuncture Association of Physical Therapy (IAAPT) Executive in 2014. Furthermore the Physiotherapy Acupuncture Association of New Zealand (PAANZ) Safe Acupuncture Guidelines (2014) written by myself and Jillian McDowell formed the template for the IAAPT Guidelines to Safe Acupuncture Practice, the international physiotherapy guideline for acupuncture and dry needling practice in physiotherapy. The New Zealand Guideline was significantly updated in 2017, I was the lead author. The international acupuncture and dry needling guidelines for physiotherapy are in the process of being updated, three international experts including myself are collaborating on this document.
I am currently involved in several research projects, my Doctoral research project, a Foucauldian history of the present: A discourse analysis of the history of medical acupuncture into New Zealand healthcare practice. I am at PGR9 submission.
Other research projects include a mixed methods project where myself, another physiotherapist and an acupuncturist/research nurse have undertaken a survey regarding the understandings of New Zealand physiotherapists applying acupuncture and/or dry needling when treating women who are pregnant, this survey is in the process of being written up. It will also form the basis of a research article on the demographics and qualifications of physiotherapists who practice needling therapies, it is the largest survey of its type in New Zealand. Furthermore we are in the process of gathering interview data of physiotherapists on their perceptions regarding treating patients who are also pregnant. This data will be thematically analyzed. I was responsible for applying for Ethics through AUTEC, and have undertaken major roles in the survey development, analysis of survey data, and writing up data for publication purposes.
I am the secondary supervisor of a physiotherapy Masters student enrolled at Notre Dame University, Perth, Australia. I was asked to supervise because there are limited physiotherapists at Masters level in Australia (and New Zealand) who have in-depth knowledge of Western medical acupuncture, which forms the underpinning of the Masters study. The research includes a the first published systematic review on the use of acupuncture in the treatment of scars, and a randomized controlled trial on the treatment of hypertrophic scars using acupuncture. Data collection is ongoing.
I am supervising a Master of Health Science enrolled physiotherapist investigating whether active Gluteus Medius trigger points cause decreased muscle strength in people with chronic non-specific LBP and if active Gluteus Medius trigger points cause decreased stretch range in the hip joint s of people with chronic non-specific LBP. This research study is currently in the data collection phase.

Research interests:

I am a physiotherapist with a keen interest in acupuncture. My research focuses on acupuncture, including Western medical, traditional Chinese and dry needling. I have been and continue to be involved in acupuncture-related research both from qualitative and quantitative research methods.
I have also participated in research involving older adults, largely related to fall prevention and enabling greater participation in everyday life through enhancement of activity.

Teaching summary:

I have taught Western medical acupuncture to health professionals for over 10 years. This focuses on clinical reasoning based upon neuroscience models. A focus on acupuncture's ability to influence healing, enhance pain mechanisms and general well-being is taught. The range of mechanisms includes local tissue influences to cellular behavior, segmental and supraspinal pain processing and how acupuncture can modulate autonomic functioning to alter pain processing and organic function. All facets of acupuncture are discussed including electroacupuncture, auriculotherapy, scalp acupuncture, Korean hand acupuncture and trigger point dry needling. Neurological, gynecological and respiratory approaches to acupuncture are also presented.
I have also developed a research-based myofascial cupping course for the treatment of connective and muscular tissue dysfunction.

Professional activities:

Featured professional activities

    Outreach and engagement

    • Academic contribution to podcast (2020)

Research outputs:

Featured research outputs

  • Baxter, D., Johnston, G., Kohut, S., Lindsay, T., McDonald, J., Roberts, K., . . . Stephenson, M. (2019). Acupuncture Expert Reference Group: Consensus document. The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.acc.co.nz/

  • McDowell, J. M., Kohut, S. H., & Betts, D. (2019). Safe acupuncture and dry needling during pregnancy: New Zealand physiotherapists’ opinion and practice. Journal of Integrative Medicine (JIM), 17(1), 30-37. doi:10.1016/j.joim.2018.11.006

  • Tuckey, C., Kohut, S., & Edgar, D. W. (2019). Efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma. Scars, Burns & Healing, 5, 1-12. doi:10.1177/2059513119831911

  • Kohut, S. (2017). Challenging case in clinical practice: Acupuncture and autonomically mediated pain. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 23(3), 90-92. doi:10.1089/act.2017.29111.sko

  • Kohut, S., & Larmer, P. (2017). Acupuncture and dry needling; a fusion of horizons. In World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2017 Cape Town. Cape Town. Retrieved from http://www.abstractstosubmit.com/wcpt2017/abstracts/

  • Kohut, S., & McDowell, J. (2017). PAANZ guidelines for safe acupuncture and dry needling practice 2017. Wellington, New Zealand: Physiotherapy Acupuncture Association of New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.paanz.org.nz/

  • Kohut, S., Pender, M., & Georgoudis, G. (2015). World Congress of Physical Therapy; Education Session: Acupuncture: Evidence-based guidelines to safe practice and practice audit outcomes. In World Confederation of Physical Therapy Congress, Singapore, 2015. Singapore.

  • Kohut, S. H. (2015). Tensions in the toolbox - the meaning of Western acupuncture for New Zealand physiotherapists. In World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015. Singapore.

  • McDowell, J. M., Kohut, S. H., & Johnson, G. M. (2015). Trigger point acupuncture (dry needling) and associated fecal incontinence in multiple sclerosis: A case report. Medical Acupuncture, 27(4). doi:10.1089/acu.2015.1102

  • Kohut, S. H., Larmer, P. J., & Johnson, G. (2011). Western acupuncture education for New Zealand physiotherapists. Physical Therapy Reviews, 16(2). Retrieved from http://docserver.ingentaconnect.com/

  • Kohut, S. H., & Larmer, P. J. (2010). Osteopathy and Acupuncture - Scope of Practice Grandfathering Course. Auckland, New Zealand.

Journal articles

  • McDowell, J. M., Kohut, S. H., & Betts, D. (2019). Safe acupuncture and dry needling during pregnancy: New Zealand physiotherapists’ opinion and practice. Journal of Integrative Medicine (JIM), 17(1), 30-37. doi:10.1016/j.joim.2018.11.006

  • Tuckey, C., Kohut, S., & Edgar, D. W. (2019). Efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma. Scars, Burns & Healing, 5, 1-12. doi:10.1177/2059513119831911

  • Kohut, S. (2019). Clinical roundup: Selected treatment options for Multiple Sclerosis—Part 1. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 25(4), 222-226. doi:10.1089/act.2019.29232.cru

  • Kohut, S. (2017). Challenging case in clinical practice: Acupuncture and autonomically mediated pain. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 23(3), 90-92. doi:10.1089/act.2017.29111.sko

  • McDowell, J. M., Kohut, S. H., & Johnson, G. M. (2015). Trigger point acupuncture (dry needling) and associated fecal incontinence in multiple sclerosis: A case report. Medical Acupuncture, 27(4). doi:10.1089/acu.2015.1102

  • Kohut, S. H., Larmer, P. J., & Johnson, G. (2011). Western acupuncture education for New Zealand physiotherapists. Physical Therapy Reviews, 16(2). Retrieved from http://docserver.ingentaconnect.com/

  • Kohut, S. H. (2010). Clinical Pearls: how do you treat tennis elbow in practice. Medical Acupuncture, 22(2).

  • Kohut, S. H., & et. al. (2010). Clinical Roundup: How do I treat back pain in practice?. Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 16(6). Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/

Conference contributions

  • Tuckey, C., Kohut, S., & Edgar, D. (2020). Efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma: A narrative literature review. In Integrative Medicine Research Vol. 9. Daejeon: Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.imr.2020.100577

  • McDowell, J., Kohut, S., & Betts, D. (2020). Safe acupuncture and dry needling during pregnancy: A survey of New Zealand physiotherapists’ practice. In Integrative Medicine Research Vol. 9. Daejeon: Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.imr.2020.100576

  • McDowell, J., Kohut, S., & Betts, D. (2019). Safe acupuncture and dry needling of musculoskeletal conditions during pregnancy: A survey of New Zealand physiotherapists practice. In WCPT Congress 2019. Geneva: World Confederation of Physical Therapists. Retrieved from https://www.wcpt.org/wcpt2019

  • Tuckey, C., Kohut, S., & Edgar, D. (2019). Hypertrophic scars and their management using acupuncture: A narrative literature review. In WCPT Congress 2019. Geneva: World Confederation of Physical Therapists. Retrieved from https://www.wcpt.org/wcpt2019

  • Kohut, S. (2017). Discourses underpinning acupuncture's entry to physiotherapy in NZ. In PAANZ Symposium: Clinical Gems. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S., & Larmer, P. (2017). Acupuncture and dry needling; a fusion of horizons. In World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2017 Cape Town. Cape Town. Retrieved from http://www.abstractstosubmit.com/wcpt2017/abstracts/

  • Kohut, S., & Ireland, L. (2015). International standards for education, training and competency:
    Adverse event reporting: Reporting of acupuncture incidents. In World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015. Singapore. Retrieved from https://www.wcpt.org/congress/nws/acupuncture

  • Kohut, S., Pender, M., & Georgoudis, G. (2015). World Congress of Physical Therapy; Education Session: Acupuncture: Evidence-based guidelines to safe practice and practice audit outcomes. In World Confederation of Physical Therapy Congress, Singapore, 2015. Singapore.

  • Kohut, S. H. (2015). Tensions in the toolbox - the meaning of Western acupuncture for New Zealand physiotherapists. In World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015. Singapore.

  • Kohut, S., Ellis, R., & Allen, S. (2014). Imaging and Acupuncture. In Linking the Chain: Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference 2014. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. H., & Clark, A. (2014). Acupuncture and COPD: A critique of the literature and research based suggestions for practice to enhance physical activity. In Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference 2014: Linking the chain. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. H., Larmer, S. H., & Jones, M. (2012). Acupuncture and dry needling: A fusion of horizons or conflicting paradigms?. In Pan Pacific Medical Acupuncture Forum. Broadbeach.

  • Kohut, S. H. (2012). Acupuncture for pain management in arthritis. In Arthritis New Zealand. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. H., Larmer, P. J., & Jones, M. (2012). Acupuncture and dry needling: “A fusion of horizons or conflicting paradigms?”. In Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference. Wellington: Physiotherapy New Zealand.

  • Kohut, S., Montgomery, T., & Allen, B. (2011). Acupuncture and Ultrasound. In PAANZ / MASNZ Conference 2011, Imagery and Energy,. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. H., Larmer, P. J., & Jones, M. (2011). Outcome measures: How acupuncture helps us re-evaluate orthodox modes of treatment. In PAANZ/MASNZ Conference 2011: Imagery and Energy. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. H., & Thorpe, P. (2011). Acupuncture in the treatment of pelvic girdle pain: A critical review of the literature. In PAANZ/MASNZ Conference: Imagery and Energy. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. (2006). Tensions in the Toolbox: the meaning of Western acupuncture for New Zealand physiotherapists. In Medical Acupuncture/Physiotherapy Acupuncture Associations of New Zealand Combined Conference. Christchurch.

  • Kohut, S. (2006). Tensions in the Toolbox: the meaning of Western acupuncture for New Zealand physiotherapists. In The New Zealand Society of Physiotherapy Conference. Auckland: New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists.

Reports

  • Baxter, D., Johnston, G., Kohut, S., Lindsay, T., McDonald, J., Roberts, K., . . . Stephenson, M. (2019). Acupuncture Expert Reference Group: Consensus document. The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.acc.co.nz/

  • Kohut, S., & McDowell, J. (2017). PAANZ guidelines for safe acupuncture and dry needling practice 2017. Wellington, New Zealand: Physiotherapy Acupuncture Association of New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.paanz.org.nz/

  • Pender, M., McNeill, S., & Kohut, S. (2016). IAAPT: Guidelines to safe acupuncture practice: IAAPT: Guidelines to Safe Acupuncture Practice. IAAPT: Acupuncture subgroup of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy: International Acupuncture Association of Physical Therapists.

  • Kohut, S., & McDowell, J. (2014). PAANZ Guidelines for Safe Acupuncture and Dry Needling Practice 2014. Wellington, New Zealand: Physiotherapy Acupuncture Association of New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.paanz.org.nz/

  • McDowell, J., Kohut, S., Sloman, L., & Keith, K. (2011). Guidelines for Safe Acupuncture and Dry Needling Practice. Wellington: Physiotherapy Acupuncture Association of New Zealand.

  • Kohut, S. H., & Larmer, P. (2010). Proposal that Traditional Chinese Medicine Become a Regulated Profession under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

Theses

  • Kohut, S. H. (2006). Tensions in the toolbox: the meaning of Western acupuncture for New Zealand physiotherapists. (Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10292/18

Oral presentations

  • Kohut, S. (2017). CRPS: Chronic regional pain syndrome and acupuncture [Workshop]. Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Kohut, S. (2017). Safety practice: Safe acupuncture [Workshop]. Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Kohut, S. (2017). Discourses underpinning acupuncture's entry to physiotherapy in NZ. Auckland NZ.

  • Kohut, S., & Imrie, A. (2016). Chronic Pain and Acupuncture. Christchurch, New Zealand.

  • Kohut, S. (2014). Electroacupuncture Versus Manual Acupuncture. Wellington New Zealand.

  • Kohut, S. H. (2012). Acupuncture and Insulin Resistance. Queenstown, Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. H. (2012). Acupuncture Workshop. Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Kohut, S., Montgomery, T., & Allen, B. (2011). Acupuncture and Ultrasound. Auckland.

  • Kohut, S. (2010). Tendo Muscular Meridians: A Western approach using Case studies. Christchurch.

  • Kohut, S. H., & Larmer, P. J. (2010). Osteopathy and Acupuncture - Scope of Practice Grandfathering Course. Auckland, New Zealand.

Other outputs

  • Kohut, S., Vodane, J., Whitley, B., Talbot, J., Heydon, J., & Johnson, G. (2014). ACC Review 55: Temporomandibular joint dysfunction. In ACC. ACC. Retrieved from https://www.acc.co.nz/

  • Kohut, S. H. (2011). Review of [Acupuncture in the Treatment of Pain: An Integrative Approach (2010)]. In New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy.

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