Research: KALAUOKALANI and colleagu

Listed in Issue 68


KALAUOKALANI and colleagues, Department of Anesthesiology, Washington State University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA, investigated the variability in diagnosis and treatment patterns of acupuncturists evaluating the same patient.


The effectiveness of acupuncture and other alternative therapies in common conditions needs to be examined. To date, little attention has been paid to variability in acupuncturists' assessment, diagnosis and treatment patterns.


7 acupuncturists practising Traditional Chinese Medicine evaluated the same patient with chronic low back pain and provided data on their main assessment techniques, diagnoses and treatment recommendations.


For 5 out of the 7 acupuncturists, diagnostic agreement was high . Treatment recommendations varied between 5 and 14 acupuncture points requiring between 7 and 26 needles (many points being recommended for bilateral treatment). Only 4 (14%) out of 28 points selected were prescribed by 2 or more acupuncturists . Most acupuncturists recommended various forms of adjuvant heat .



Kalauokalani D et al. Acupuncture for chronic low back pain: diagnosis and treatment patterns among acupuncturists evaluating the same patient. Southern Medical Journal 94 (5): 486-92. May 2001.

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