Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis (Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration)
Hugh MacPherson has helped conduct one of the largest studies of acupuncture for chronic
pain conditions, including the conditions of back and neck pain, osteoarthritis and chronic headaches. The project, known as the Acupuncture Triallists' Collaboration, has been led by Dr Andrew Vickers and funded primarily by the US National Institutes for Health and also in part the UK National Institute for Health Research as part of MacPherson's Programme Grant for Applied Research.
The results have been published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Individual patient data from 29 randomized controlled trials with 17,922 patients were analysed and the results show that acupuncture is better than usual care and better than sham (placebo) acupuncture for the treatment of back and neck pain, osteoarthritis and chronic headaches. From the publication, the authors state, "Our results from individual patient data meta-analyses of nearly 18,000 randomized patients in high-quality RCTs provide the most robust evidence to date that acupuncture is a reasonable referral option for patients with chronic pain."(Vickers et al 2012)
A number of sub-studies have been, or soon will be, published.