In his comment, Wettig writes that our publication1 of a short version of the study protocol in a medical journal in late August 20032 may have “potentially broadly unblinded” the investigation.
In response we would first like to point out that it is good practice to make study protocols available to an expert audience. Indeed, many leading medical journals now require that information on study protocols be published in advance in trial registers before they will even accept a manuscript.3
Brinkhaus B, Witt C, Willich S, Linde K, Melchart D. The Acupuncture Randomized Trials Study (Back Pain) Was Unblinded Too Early—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(14):1528. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.14.1528-a