Thursday, June 29, 2006

Data Bits 2

For those that believe if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a random coincidence, here are some objective findings.

Literary search and editing by Francine L. Comtois, sec. trés. of the ACDM

Acupuncture would help to relieve the chronic headaches, migraine in particular. Such are the conclusions of a clinical study, carried out in England and in Wales, which was published in British Medical Journal. The study was made with an aim of evaluating if acupuncture could be rather effective, in the case of the headaches, to be integrated into the free care of the system of public health in England.

For 12 months, the researchers followed 401 patients suffering from chronic headaches, mainly of migraines. These patients had been divided randomly in two groups: one received up to 12 treatments of acupuncture for three months, while the others (which were used as reference group) were treated by a usual medication. The gravity of the headaches among patients of the two groups was measured, after 3 and 12 months; the researchers also evaluated, every three months, the need to take drugs or to consult a doctor.

After 12 months, the results showed that the headaches had decreased more in the group treated by acupuncture (reduction of 34%) that in the group which received a medication (reduction of 16%). The patients, who belonged to the group treated by acupuncture, counted on average 22 days fewer headaches per year. Compared with the reference group, they, during this period, had used 15% less drugs, makes 25% less medical visits and taken 15% less sick leave.

The researchers thus concluded from it that acupuncture produces beneficial and persistent effects among patients suffering from chronic headaches, especially from migraines. These conclusions were however criticized, in particular by famous Dr. Edzard Ernst, of the Laing Pulpit of complementary medicines at the Peninsula Medical School of the university of Exeter in England. According to him, being given the methodology of the study, the waitings of the patients could influence the effects allotted to the treatments of acupuncture.


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