June 27, 2009

From Archie C. Swindell:

Re: Acupuncture found to beat “usual” care for back pain (May 11, 2009): At least two key questions are not addressed in your review, or perhaps in the article itself.

(1) What statistically significant differences exist among treatment groups, at various post-treatment times and by repeated measures analysis?

(2) Why were the obvious controls not run? -- either needle insertion or toothpick manipulation at sites selected randomly, or selected by a therapist to have NO effect on back pain? When this kind of control has been run in other studies, acupuncture at incorrect sites had the same effect as at “correct” sites.
This whole article is further definitive support for a mechanism widely know to therapy researchers: “placebo effect”.

Archie C. Swindell, PhD.


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