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Editor's Correspondence
April 22, 2013

Placing Acupuncture in Perspective

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(8):713-714. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.3785

The individual patient data meta-analysis by Vickers et al1 reported that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain but that the effects are “relatively modest.” The authors base their conclusions on a well-conducted analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared acupuncture with sham or no-acupuncture controls. However, I believe that 2 important issues are not considered in their article or in the Invited Commentary2 that would help place acupuncture in better perspective for clinicians who wish to consider this modality as a possible treatment for chronic pain.