Research: LINDE and co-authors,

Listed in Issue 127

Abstract

LINDE and co-authors, Department of Internal Medicine II, Technische Universitat Munchen, Kaiserstrasse 9, 80801 Munich, Germany, have studied acupuncture for pain relief in osteoarthritis.

Background

The aim of this observational study was to investigate characteristics and outcomes of patients undergoing acupuncture treatment for osteoarthritic pain in routine care.

Methodology

736 patients with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis were included in an observational study. Detailed questionnaires including instruments to measure pain intensity (numerical rating scales from 0 to 10), disability (Pain Disability Index) and quality of life (SF-36) were filled in pre treatment, post treatment and at 6 months. Patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee and hip also filled in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index questionnaire.

Results

On average, patients received about 9 acupuncture treatments. Statistically significant and clinically relevant improvements were seen in all subgroups both after treatment and at 6 months in all major outcome measures. In patients with osteoarthritis of the hip, the WOMAC sum score was 47.9 +/- 20.7 at baseline, 34.8 +/- 20.0 after treatment and 33.1 +/- 22.2 at 6 months. The respective values in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were 51.7 +/- 20.9, 34.1 +/- 23.3 and 34.6 +/- 25.1.

Conclusion

Patients with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis reported clinically relevant improvements after acupuncture treatment.

References

Linde K, Weidenhammer W, Streng A, Hoppe A, Melchart D. Acupuncture for osteoarthritic pain: an observational study in routine care. Rheumatology 45 (2): 222-227, Feb 2006.

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