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Editor's Correspondence
October 26, 2009

Acupuncture Research: Placebos by Many Other Names—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(19):1806-1818. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.379

In reply

Our trial was designed to determine if adjunctive acupuncture needling was more effective than usual care alone for chronic back pain and if acupuncture involving needle insertion was more effective than simulated (noninsertive) acupuncture in clinically relevant acupuncture points.1 We found that insertive and noninsertive acupuncture had similar effects that were superior to usual care alone. We concluded that “it remains unclear whether acupuncture or our simulated method of acupuncture provide physiologically important stimulation or represent placebo or nonspecific effects.”1(p858)

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