The overall object of the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration is to combine raw data from high quality randomized trials of acupuncture for chronic pain to create an individual patient level data set. This data set will be analyzed to determine the effect size of acupuncture and modifiers thereof. After publication of the principal results of these analyses, a de-identified (i.e. anonymized) raw data set will be made available for the benefit of the acupuncture research community as a whole.
The primary scientific objectives of the collaboration are:
- To determine whether real acupuncture is superior to sham acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain conditions and, if so, to determine the effect size. Here ’real acupuncture’ is defined as the experimental intervention which the investigators believe may have activity against pain. ’Sham acupuncture’ is defined as any intervention that is designed to prevent the patient from knowing whether or not he or she received real acupuncture but which is thought to have minimal activity against pain.
- To determine whether real acupuncture is superior to usual care control for the treatment of chronic pain conditions and, if so, to determine the effect size. ’Usual care’ is defined as care, such as medication ’as needed’, that is also received by the acupuncture group. Usual care controls as defined here are sometimes described as ’waiting list’ controls, ’standard care’ controls or controls receiving ’no additional treatment’.
The secondary scientific objectives of the collaboration are:
- To determine whether the effects of acupuncture vary by indication.
- To determine characteristics of acupuncture treatment associated with outcome.
- To determine whether the effects of the various types of sham control differ.
- Time course of acupuncture effects
- Analysis of acupuncture responders
- Analysis of differences between practitioners
- Analysis of predictors of acupuncture effect
The Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration is funded by an R21 (AT004189) from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health and by a grant from the Samueli Institute.
Members of the Collaboration
Members of the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration represent 25 trials and over 18,000 patients.
- Claire Allen (patient representative, non-voting member)
- Mac Beckner (information technology adviser, non-voting member)
- Brian Berman
- Benno Brinkhaus
- Remy Coeytaux
- Angel M. Cronin (statistician, non-voting member)
- Hans-Christoph Diener
- Nadine Foster
- Michael Haake
- Richard Hammerschlag (acupuncture expert, non-voting member)
- Dominik Irnich
- Wayne B. Jonas (complementary medicine research expert, non-voting member)
- Kai Kronfeld
- Lixing Lao (acupuncture expert, non-voting member)
- George Lewith
- Klaus Linde (steering group)
- Dieter Melchart
- Albrecht Molsberger
- Hugh MacPherson (steering group)
- Eric Manheimer
- Karen Sherman
- Hans Trampisch
- Jorge Vas
- Andrew J. Vickers (collaboration chair)
- Norbert Victor (steering group)
- Peter White
- Lyn Williamson
- Stefan Willich
- Claudia M. Witt (steering group)