An INTERESTING follow up to this story… A sharp difference: Study of sham vs real acupuncture appear good or bad depending on how you view it.
The lead author of this acupuncture study complains about “ad hominem” attacks from skeptics. Two skeptical medical blogs give him what’s what.
Here is the abstract.
In September 2012 the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration published the results of an individual patient data meta-analysis of almost 18 000 patients in high quality randomised trials. The results favoured acupuncture. Although there was little argument about the findings in the scientific press, a controversy played out in blog posts and the lay press. This controversy was characterised by ad hominem remarks, anonymous criticism, phony expertise and the use of opinion to contradict data, predominantly by self-proclaimed sceptics. There was a near complete absence of substantive scientific critique. The lack of any reasoned debate about the main findings of the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration paper underlines the fact that mainstream science has moved on from the intellectual sterility and ad hominem attacks that characterise the sceptics’ movement.
Nope. Not close to the mark. There was plenty of substance in the critiques at the time include those from Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, who said the study “impressively and clearly” showed that the effects of acupuncture were mostly due to placebo. “The differences between the results obtained with real and sham acupuncture are small and not clinically relevant. Crucially, they are probably due to residual bias in these studies. Several investigations have shown that the verbal or non-verbal communication between the patient and the therapist is more important than the actual needling. If such factors would be accounted for, the effect of acupuncture on chronic pain might disappear completely.”
- Skeptics poked holes in acupuncture study which needled the study’s author (doubtfulnews.com)
- Revenge of the Woo (theness.com)
- Revenge of the Woo (skepticblog.org)
- Acupuncture (pathwaytoenlightenment.com)
- Another Acupuncture Meta-Analysis – Low Back Pain (theness.com)
- Acupuncture brings significant relief for seasonal allergies (nyrnaturalnews.com)
- Acupuncture for headaches and eye problems (visionmd.org)
- Really?: The Claim: Acupuncture Can Reduce Symptoms of Hay Fever (well.blogs.nytimes.com)