Research: SCHNEIDER and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 116


SCHNEIDER and colleagues, Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, University of Heidelberg, Germany, antonius.schneider@med., have attempted to predict the response of patients to prophylactic acupuncture for postoperative nausea and vomiting.


The aim of this study was to find predictors of response to acupuncture in the prevention of postoperative nausea.


An intervention-specific questionnaire was developed to assess perception of body sensations in patients undergoing acupuncture treatment. In an observer-blinded randomized controlled trial, 202 women scheduled to undergo gynaecological or breast surgery were randomized to receive either true acupuncture on point P6 or sham acupuncture on a virtual point some distance from P6. The main outcome measure was the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting in relationship to the type of intervention received and body sensations.


High perceived body sensations predicted low treatment response in patients receiving breast surgery (odds ratio = 1.6; p = 0.039 for each 10-point increase). The questionnaire showed good item difficulty, internal consistency, and divergent validity. Treatment response in patients receiving gynaecological surgery was predicted by the kind of acupuncture applied (p = 0.027), whereas perceived bodily sensations played no role in this group.


The incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting seems to be influenced by perceived body sensations. In the group of patients examined in this study, low body sensations predicted a good response to the acupuncture.


Schneider A, Lowe B, Streitberger K. Perception of bodily sensation as a predictor of treatment response to acupuncture for postoperative nausea and vomiting prophylaxis. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 11 (1): 119-125, Feb 2005.

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