Developing a research strategy for acupuncture

Lewith, George T., White, Peter J. and Kaptchuk, Ted J. (2006) Developing a research strategy for acupuncture. Clinical Journal of Pain, 22, (7), 632-638.


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This strategic overview revisits some of the basic assumptions that relate to the clinical evaluation of acupuncture. We look at the evidence available to estimate both the specific and nonspecific effect size of acupuncture (efficacy and effectiveness) and consider the placebo within acupuncture trials, as well as the value of both placebo controlled trials and pragmatic acupuncture studies. We argue for an augmented, mixed methodology that integrates basic mechanism studies, including modern imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance, quantitative and qualitative research, as well as safety and health economic data to obtain a more rigorous understanding of acupuncture. We hope that by taking a broad, patient-centered, and rigorous approach we may arrive at a realistic and thoughtful evaluation of its relative value in comparison to placebo treatment, conventional medicine, and its potential for integration into conventional clinical care.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0749-8047 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: research support, qualitative research, review, outcome assessment (health care), safety, research, acupuncture therapy,acupuncture, humans, evidence-based medicine, health, methods, treatment
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
R Medicine
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine
ePrint ID: 61923
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
September 2006Published
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:45

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