Is acupuncture associated with reduced pain outcomes for patients with chronic pain compared with sham-acupuncture (placebo) or no-acupuncture control?
Acupuncture is associated with improved pain outcomes compared with sham-acupuncture and no-acupuncture control, with response rates of approximately 30% for no acupuncture, 42.5% for sham acupuncture, and 50% for acupuncture.
Source: Vickers et al.3 A standardized mean difference of 0.42, for instance, means that pain scores were 0.42 SDs lower in patients undergoing acupuncture compared with controls. These differences are converted to clinically meaningful statistics in the text.
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