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Aug 2011

Acupuncture and the Placebo Effect

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Metheny Eye Clinic, Springdale, Arkansas.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(8):1107-1108. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.231

I read with interest the article by Zhao et al.1 The authors say, “We did not include a sham acupuncture group in our study, mainly because of its poor acceptance by patients and their parents, which, in turn, would have substantially increased the difficulty in recruiting patients.” Understandably, Chinese parents who believe in acupuncture would not risk their children's vision to sham acupuncture, just to participate in a clinical study. Likewise, many American parents will not risk their children's vision to participate in a study in which there is an even chance they will undergo acupuncture instead of conventional patching. This cultural difference could make reproducing the Chinese study in the United States problematic.

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