The study by Brinkhaus et al1 was published online in August 20032 and was also made available through German libraries free of charge also to patients. This potentially unblinding publication made public all the secret details of the study under discussion: all verum and sham acupuncture points were described in great detail. This enabled some interested patients to identify to which group (verum or placebo) they belonged, while they were probably still being followed up.
Wettig D. The Acupuncture Randomized Trials Study (Back Pain) Was Unblinded Too Early. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(14):1527–1528. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.14.1527-b
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