To the Editor In the trial of acupuncture for knee pain,1 there were some concerns with regard to the validation of the trial and accuracy of the conclusion.
The comparison of needle acupuncture with sham laser acupuncture was not in the aims or hypotheses of this trial. In the original trial registration in 20092 and baseline publication of the protocol in 2012,3 all the specific aims of the trial focused on testing laser acupuncture. None of the original 9 hypotheses referred to the comparison of needle acupuncture with sham laser acupuncture. Needle acupuncture appeared to be a positive control for laser treatment because it has been proved effective in a previous trial.4 Therefore, the conclusion that needle acupuncture was not better than sham treatment was based on a post hoc hypothesis.
Li YM. Treating Chronic Knee Pain With Acupuncture. JAMA. 2015;313(6):628. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.18508