Acupuncture : Efficacy Safety and Practice by British Medical Association

By British Medical Association

This dialogue of acupuncture offers details in this widely-used remedy of complementary and substitute drugs, and informs the reader of the worth of acupuncture and its most probably position in the NHS.

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Additional info for Acupuncture : Efficacy Safety and Practice

Sample text

Future research The Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital (1999) has identified questions that need to be answered by research in the field of complementary medicine, which can be applied specifically to acupuncture research: • How large is the effect of acupuncture? • Are the overall long-term effects of a acupuncture treatment greater than some reasonable alternative such as surgery or drug treatment? • How cost-effective is acupuncture? • Is acupuncture additional to, or can it replace, conventional treatments such as drugs?

On the basis of three studies, acupuncture was better than no treatment at all immediately, but this benefit had disappeared by six months. A systematic review of acupuncture for weight loss found four studies (Ernst, 1997). Their quality was poor: the two most rigorous studies were negative and the two less rigorous were positive. Thus, at present there is no evidence to support any role for acupuncture in the management of smoking cessation or weight loss. Acupuncture for stroke Six controlled trials of acupuncture treatment to assist recovery from stroke were reviewed (see table 7, page 34) (Ernst and White, 1996).

However, these A REVIEW OF ADVERSE REACTIONS TO ACUPUNCTURE 45 may not be complete due to under-reporting of minor injuries by practitioners due to the frequency of their occurrence, or of more significant injuries due to GPs’ lack of knowledge that their patient received acupuncture (Norheim and Fønnebø,1996). They also cannot be used to accurately estimate incidence, since the number of treatments given per year is unknown. A survey, using members of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, of adverse events is currently underway using the spontaneous reporting technique at the Department of Complementary Medicine in Exeter.

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