Welcome to the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) website - a hub for Asian medicine researchers, practitioners, teachers, students, patients and supporters. SAR’s mission is to promote, advance and disseminate scientific inquiry into Oriental medicine systems, which include acupuncture, herbal therapy and other modalities. SAR’s leadership and members value quantitative and qualitative research addressing clinical efficacy, physiological mechanisms, patterns of use and theoretical foundations.
Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis
A recent article in MedPage Today by staff writer Nancy Walsh, entitled "Acupuncture Does Help for Chronic Pain," reviews a recent meta-analysis conducted by Andrew J. Vickers, DPhil; Angel M. Cronin, MS; Alexandra C. Maschino, BS; George Lewith, MD; Hugh MacPherson, PhD (SAR board member); Nadine E. Foster, DPhil; Karen J. Sherman, PhD; Claudia M. Witt, MD; and Klaus Linde, MD; for the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration. The author notes that that in this meta-analysis, investigators found a statistically significant benefit of acupuncture for relief of chronic pain due to a variety of causes when compared with both sham controls and usual-care controls. She also points out that the pain relief was much greater when acupuncture was compared with usual care than when compared with the sham procedure suggesting a role for a placebo effect. The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the Samueli Institute, and the U.K. National Institute for Health Research. Link to the full article here.
Acupunct Med 2012;0:1-6. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2012010151
Group acupuncture for knee pain: evaluation of a cost-saving initiative in the health service.
Adrian White, Marion Richardson, Pamela Richmond, Jonathan Freedman, Mark Bevis
Knee osteoarthritis is a common source of chronic pain and restricted mobility, especially in those over the age of 50. Non-steroidal drugs are commonly used with well-documented and sometimes serious adverse reactions. Total knee replacement has become routine, although it includes the risks associated with surgery, is not appropriate for everyone, and is fairly expensive. This study reports on a program in the UK where candidates for total knee replacement were offered acupuncture instead. 90 of 114 eligible patients (79%) accepted acupuncture treatment. 31 were still receiving acupuncture 2 years later. Clinically significant improvements were reported at one month and two years for pain, stiffness, and function. This study shows the feasibility of offering a low-cost acupuncture service as an alternative to knee surgery and the service’s success in providing long-term symptom relief in about a third of patients. Using realistic assumptions, the cost consequences for the local commissioning group were an estimated savings of £100000 a year.
The Society for Acupuncture Research is dedicated to improving the quality and increasing the awareness of research in acupuncture, herbal therapy and other modalities of Oriental Medicine. If you share our values and want to be an active part of SAR’s mission, we invite you to become a member and join the global dialogue that ultimately impacts the clinical scope and practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
SAR's White Paper on Acupuncture Research
Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Establishing an Evidence Base
Edited by Hugh MacPherson, Richard Hammerschlag, George Lewith, and Rosa Schnyer