To the Editor In an RCT, the authors demonstrated that true acupuncture, compared with sham acupuncture or with waitlist control, resulted in a statistically significant reduction in aromatase inhibitor–related joint pain among women with breast cancer at 6 weeks.1 There are several issues that require comment.
First, acupuncture therapy was scheduled 2 times a week for the first 6 weeks, and the study was based on a 2-point difference between groups to have clinical significance. However, the actual difference was 0.92 points between the true acupuncture group and the sham acupuncture group. Receiving treatment only twice a week does not reflect the practice of traditional Chinese acupuncture and is considered to be inadequate. In another study,2 participants received treatment 3 times a week (preferably every other day) for 6 weeks, a total of 18 times.
Liu C, Zhang H, Sun C. Acupuncture for Aromatase Inhibitor–Related Joint Pain Among Breast Cancer Patients. JAMA. 2018;320(21):2270. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.16740
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