Guidelines for Clinical Research on Acupuncture
(1995; 68 pages)
Table of Contents
View the documentForeword
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Close this folder2. Glossary
View the documentTerms relating to evaluation methodology
View the documentTerms relating specifically to acupuncture studies
Open this folder and view contents3. Goals and objectives of the guidelines
Open this folder and view contents4. General considerations
Open this folder and view contents5. Research methodology
View the document6. Using the guidelines
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes
View the documentBibliography
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack cover

Terms relating specifically to acupuncture studies

1. Acupuncture - Involves the act of needle insertion, although there are many other non-invasive techniques for acupuncture point stimulation. Points may be selected according to:

• traditional medical systems;
• symptoms;
• point selection based on the scientific relationships of point function; and
• point prescription.

2. Real acupuncture - Acupuncture given as a real clinical treatment.

3. Sham acupuncture - Inappropriate acupuncture for the condition being treated taking into account the acupuncture microsystem.

4. Mock Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation - Treatment with a defunctioned TENS machine in which no electrical stimulus reaches the patient but the TENS machine appears to be active.

5. Minimal acupuncture - Shallow needle insertion which in some studies has been used as a placebo, but in others as real treatment.

6. Control group - A comparative group with which to compare the effects of real acupuncture treatment. The control group might be untreated or receive conventional medical treatment.

7. Placebo - If acupuncture is defined as skin penetration with an acupuncture needle, then true placebo acupuncture would appear to be impossible. Less effective forms of acupuncture can be perfectly adequate controls, and in some specific instances it may be possible to mimic acupuncture in a credible manner.

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