The latest medical research on Complementary Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about complementary medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Specification of interventions and selection of controls in randomized controlled trials of acupuncture: a cross-sectional survey.

Acupunct Med

Specification of interventions and selection of controls are two methodological determinants for a successful acupuncture trial. However, current practice with respect to these two determinants is not fully understood. Thus, we conducted a cross-sectional survey to examine the specification of interventions and selection of controls among published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of acupuncture.

We searched PubMed for acupuncture RCTs published in core clinical journals and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) journals from January 2010 to December 2019 (10 years) and included RCTs that assessed treatment effects of acupuncture versus any type of control. We used network meta-analyses to explore whether there were differential treatment effects in patients with chronic pain when using sham acupuncture as a control versus using waiting list or no treatment.

Most of the 319 eligible RCTs specified well the style of acupuncture (86.8%), traditional acupuncture point locations (96.2%), type of needle stimulation (90.3%) and needle retention time (85.6%). However, other acupuncture details were less-frequently specified, including response sought (65.5%), needle manipulation (50.5%), number of needle insertions (21.9%), angle and direction of insertion (31.3%), patient posture (32.3%) and co-interventions (22.9%). Sham acupuncture (41.4%) was the most frequently used control, followed by waiting list or no treatment (32.9%). There was no differential treatment effect when using sham acupuncture versus waiting list/no treatment as a control (standardized mean difference = -0.15, 95% confidence interval: -0.91 to 0.62).

Over a decade of research practice, important gaps have remained in the specification of acupuncture interventions, including response sought, needle manipulation, and co-interventions. While sham acupuncture has been widely used, waiting list or no treatment may also be considered as an appropriate control.

Electroacupuncture pretreatment protects septic rats from acute lung injury by relieving inflammation and regulating macrophage polarization.

Acupunct Med

Macrophage polarization toward the M2 phenotype may attenuate inflammation and have a therapeutic effect in acute lung injury (ALI).

To investigate the role of electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment on the inflammatory response and macrophage polarization in a septic rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI.

Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 24) were randomly divided into three groups (n = 8 each): control (Ctrl), ALI (LPS) and pre-EA (LPS + EA pretreatment). ALI and pre-EA rats were injected with LPS via the caudal vein. Pulmonary edema was assessed by left upper pulmonary lobe wet-to-dry (W/D) ratios. Lung injury scores were obtained from paraffin-embedded and hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections of the left lower pulmonary lobe. Inflammatory activation was quantified using serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and IL-10 levels measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Macrophage phenotype was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and Western blotting.

Mean lung W/D ratio was significantly lower and serum IL-1β levels were decreased in pre-EA rats compared to ALI rats (P < 0.05). TNF-α mRNA expression was decreased and mannose receptor (MR) and Arg1 mRNA expression was increased in the lung tissues of pre-EA rats compared to ALI rats (P < 0.01). Arg1 protein expression was similarly increased in the lung tissues of pre-EA rats compared to ALI rats (P < 0.05).

EA pretreatment may play a protective role by promoting macrophage polarization to the M2 phenotype in a septic rat model of LPS-induced ALI.

Experiences of implementing treatment manuals: Clinician, supervisor, and researcher reflections.

Nordic Journal of Psychiatry

Treatment manuals play an essential role in clinical trials that aim to determine the efficacy of an intervention. Yet, the idea of needing to adhere to a treatment manual may seem counterintuitive to many music therapy clinicians. The purpose of this article is to offer clinician, supervisor, and researcher perspectives on the process of developing and executing a manualized music therapy treatment protocol in a randomized controlled trial.

After describing the purpose of treatment manuals in clinical trials, we present the experience of developing a treatment manual through clinician and researcher collaborations. The concept of treatment fidelity and quality assurance monitoring within clinical trials is detailed to provide an inside look at an integral aspect of enacting treatment manuals in efficacy research. We then share reflections from a research clinician and supervisor to demonstrate the opportunities and challenges when working within the guidelines of manualized clinical practice.

Providing a reflective perspective on implementation of a manualized treatment protocol allows for a more thorough understanding of the clinical and research processes in the conduct of randomized controlled trials.

Collaboration of researchers, clinicians and supervisors is of critical importance for the successful implementation of treatment manuals in clinical trials.

Effect of Yoga on Motor Skills and Self-Esteem in Kindergarten Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

International Journal of Epidemiology

The present randomized controlled trial examines the effects of yoga, as opposed to general physical education (PE) and passive controls, on the mo...

Core outcomes were rarely reported overall in systematic reviews on acupuncture for osteoarthritis: a cross-sectional meta-epidemiological study.

Acupunct Med

To identify a comprehensive list of outcomes and explore the reporting rate of core outcome sets (COS) and related factors in systematic reviews (SRs) of acupuncture for osteoarthritis (OA).

Databases were searched for the relative SRs. Descriptive statistics were calculated as frequencies and percentages. Binary logistic regression was used to explore the factors affecting the reporting rate of COS.

We included 59 SRs. Outcome measures reported in the SRs were classified into 11 domains and 67 unique outcomes. No SR completely reported COS. In COS released in 2016, 75% of outcomes (6/8) were only reported by ⩽5% SRs. In COS released in 2019, the reporting rate was very low (from 0% to 17%) for 73.3% of outcomes (11/15). SRs published in the most recent 5 years had a significantly greater possibility of reporting COS (odds ratio (OR) = 4.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.33 to 16.88, p = 0.016).

Core outcomes were rarely reported in systematic reviews of acupuncture for OA, with considerable heterogeneity in the use of outcomes. The publication of COS in the COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) database may help promote the reporting of COS. We encourage systematic reviewers to use relevant COS.

Electroacupuncture relieves visceral hypersensitivity through modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system.

Acupunct Med

Electroacupuncture (EA) can effectively relieve visceral hypersensitivity (VH). However, its mechanisms are still unclear.

To investigate the impact of EA on VH caused by ileitis, and whether EA relieves VH by modulating the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS).

Thirty male native goats were randomly divided into a saline-treated control group (Saline, n = 9) and three 2,4,6-trinitro-benzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-treated VH model groups that underwent injection of TNBS into the ileal wall to induce VH and remained untreated (TNBS, n = 9) or received six sessions of EA (for 30 min every 3 days) (TNBS + EA, n = 6) or sham acupuncture (TNBS + Sham, n = 6). The visceromotor response (VMR) to colorectal distention (CRD) was measured after each EA treatment. Three goats in the Saline/TNBS groups were euthanized after 7 days for histopathological examination; the remaining 24 (n = 6/group) underwent sampling of the ileal wall, T11 spinal cord and brain nuclei/areas related to visceral regulation and ascending pain modulation system on day 22. Expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) was detected by immunohistochemistry.

VMR to CRD was greater in TNBS-treated goats than in saline-treated goats (p < 0.01) from day 7 to 22. After day 7, EA-treated goats showed a decreased (p < 0.05) VMR compared with untreated TNBS-exposed goats. TNBS treatment decreased CB1R and increased FAAH and MAGL expression in the ileum and related nuclei/areas; this was reversed by EA.

EA ameliorates VH, probably by regulating the ECS in the intestine and nuclei/areas related to visceral regulation and descending pain modulation systems.

Exploring Music Therapists' Experiences With and Perceptions About Copyrighted Music: A Thematic Analysis.

Journal of Music

Patient-preferred music is often copyrighted music; prior research, however, has paid scant attention to music therapists' understanding and use of...

Mediational Analysis of Yoga's Effect on Chronic Low-Back Pain in Veterans: What Factors Really Matter?

International Journal of Epidemiology

Considerable evidence supports yoga as a treatment for chronic low-back pain (CLBP), yet more research is needed on the mechanisms of yoga. Yoga ma...

The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture/electroacupuncture for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Acupunct Med

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a dose-limiting adverse effect of anticancer agents with virtually no effective treatment. Safe and effective therapies are needed urgently. Acupuncture shows therapeutic possibilities in this regard but needs to be further evaluated.

A systematic search was conducted in seven databases from their inception to April 2020. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) focused on acupuncture/electroacupuncture (EA) for the treatment of CIPN were included. Revman 5.3 software was used for meta-analysis if there was no significant heterogeneity. Otherwise, qualitative analysis was utilized.

Nine studies involving 582 patients were included in this review. Most of the studies exhibited unclear risk of bias because some details were not mentioned. As the clinical heterogeneity was significant, qualitative analysis was performed to describe nerve conduction velocity, effective rate for motor neuropathy, pain scores, quality of life and adverse events. Meta-analysis was performed on four studies to analyze the effective rate for sensory neuropathy due to inconspicuous heterogeneity. The results indicated that acupuncture may generate a better effect on sensory neuropathy than vitamin B (risk ratio = 1.60, 95% confidence interval = 1.31-1.95, I2 = 0%, p < 0.00001). The efficacy of EA plus glutathione (GSH) appeared to be better than that of GSH alone in alleviating sensory neurotoxicity and in improving nerve conduction velocity. Acupuncture plus methylcobalamin showed more favorable effects than methylcobalamin alone in relieving neuralgia, restoring nerve conduction velocity and improving quality of life. In terms of pain relief and improved CIPN-specific quality of life, acupuncture plus standard care was better than standard care alone. In terms of pain relief, EA was more effective than usual care.

Acupuncture may be effective and safe in the treatment of CIPN according to the analyzed studies. However, more studies with higher methodological quality are warranted in order to be able to draw firmer conclusions. Future rigorous RCTs will be necessary to confirm the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for CIPN.

Motor function and fALFF modulation in convalescent-period ischemic stroke patients after scalp acupuncture therapy: a multi-centre randomized controlled trial.

Acupunct Med

Scalp acupuncture has been found to be effective at improving motor function after ischemic stroke, but few studies examining its central mechanisms of action have been carried out. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical effects of scalp acupuncture on motor dysfunction and changes in spontaneous brain activity in patients with ischemic stroke.

This was an evaluator- and analyst-blinded, multi-center randomized controlled trial. A total of 108 convalescent-stage ischemic stroke patients with motor dysfunction were allocated to receive either scalp acupuncture combined with rehabilitation treatment (SR group) or rehabilitation treatment alone (RE group). Patients in both groups received treatment 5 times per week for 8 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA). Secondary outcome measures included the modified Barthel index (mBI), modified Rankin scale (mRS) and values of fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (fALFF) acquired using a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) technique.

Both groups showed significant improvements in motor function, daily life ability and degree of disability, as measured by FMA, mRS and mBI (p < 0.05), and the SR group showed a significantly greater improvement (p < 0.05). Compared with the RE group, the areas where the fALFF values increased in the SR group were located in the cerebellum, praecuneus, precentral gyrus, superior frontal gyrus and parietal lobe. The improvement in FMA scores had the strongest correlation with the baseline fALFF values of the ipsilateral precentral gyrus.

Scalp acupuncture improved motor function in convalescent-period ischemic stroke patients, and effects were correlated with regulation of motor-relevant brain regions. The fALFF value of the ipsilateral precentral and postcentral gyri could be potential clinical indices for prognostication of motor dysfunction.

NCT03120650 (

A comparative study of treatment interventions for patellar tendinopathy: a secondary cost-effectiveness analysis.

Acupunct Med

To compare the cost-effectiveness of three patellar tendinopathy treatments.

Secondary (cost-effectiveness) analysis of a blinded, randomised controlled trial, with follow-up at 10 and 22 weeks.

Recruitment was performed in sport clubs. The diagnosis and the intervention were carried out at San Jorge University.

The participants were adults between 18 and 45 years (n = 48) with patellar tendinopathy.

Participants received percutaneous needle electrolysis, dry needling or sham needling, all of which were combined with eccentric exercise.

Costs, quality-adjusted life years and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio were calculated for each group.

The total cost per session was similar in the three groups: €9.46 for the percutaneous needle electrolysis group; €9.44 for the dry needling group; and €8.96 for the sham group. The percutaneous needle electrolysis group presented better cost-effectiveness in terms of quality-adjusted life years and 96% and 93% probability of being cost-effective compared to the sham and dry needling groups, respectively.

Our study shows that percutaneous needle electrolysis has a greater probability of being cost-effective than sham or dry needling treatment.

Israeli Parents' Lived Experiences of Music Therapy With Their Preterm Infants Post-Hospitalization.

Journal of Music

In the current study, we aimed to explore the lived experience of Israeli parents who engaged in musical dialogues with their preterm infants durin...