Physician and treatment characteristics in a randomised multicentre trial of acupuncture in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
ABSTRACT The aim of this paper is to describe the treatment and physician characteristics in a randomised trial of acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Three-armed, randomised, controlled multicentre trial with 1-year follow-up.
Twenty-eight outpatient centres in Germany.
A total of 294 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomised to 12 sessions of semi-standardised acupuncture (at least 6 local and 2 distant points needled per affected knee from a selection of predefined points, but individual choice of additional body or ear acupuncture points possible), 12 sessions of minimal acupuncture (superficial needling of at least 8 of 10 predefined, bilateral, distant non-acupuncture points) or a waiting list control (2 months no acupuncture).
Participating trial physicians and interventions.
Forty-seven physicians specialised in acupuncture (mean age 43+/-8 years, 26 females) provided study interventions in 28 outpatient centres in Germany. The median duration of acupuncture training completed by participating physicians was 350 h (range 140-2508). The total number of needles used was 17.4+/-4.8 in the acupuncture group compared to 12.9+/-3.3 in the minimal acupuncture group. In total, 39 physicians (83%) stated that they would have treated patients in either a similar or in exactly the same way outside of the trial, whereas 7 (15%) stated that they would have treated patients differently (1 missing).
Our documentation of the trial interventions shows that semi-standardised acupuncture strategy represents an acceptable compromise for efficacy studies. However, a substantial minority of participating trial physicians stated that they would have treated patients differently outside of the trial.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to examine the infrared spectrum and the irradiance of different types of moxa sticks to develop a basis for a moxa stick control therapy. An IR radiometer was used to measure the spectral infrared irradiance of seven glowing moxa sticks of different types in dependence of distance to the heat. All sticks investigated showed a similar spectral distribution of the emitted IR radiation with maxima of about 83.5-87.5% in the range long-wavelength IR radiation (IR-C) and with small contributions of both short wavelength IR radiation (IR-A) between 2.2% and 5.5% and of middle wavelength IR radiation (IR-B) between 9.0% and 12.1% of the total IR emission. Study results showed that only a small proportion of the IR radiation emitted by moxa sticks is capable of affecting subepidermal tissue. This finding indicates that thermal effects of moxa sticks are caused primarily by superficial effects on the skin. Because most heat receptors are located in the superficial skin, it thus appears impossible to separate the effects of moxa sticks from the sensation of heat. These results should be taken into account while developing placebo or sham moxibustion devices.Complementary therapies in medicine 09/2009; 17(4):243-6. · 1.95 Impact Factor