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Critical Appraisal of the Research about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture by Melchart - Term Paper Example

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The "Critical Appraisal of the Research about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture by Melchart" paper focuses on the research whose aim is to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture compared with minimal acupuncture and with no acupuncture in patients with tension-type headache…
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Critical Appraisal of the Research about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture by Melchart
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Download file to see previous pages Fundamentally, the treatment is acupuncture but the research methodology/research design allows us to assess validate whether acupuncture really works by introducing a third situation: minimal acupuncture instead of only no acupuncture.

On closer analysis, however, what Melchart et al. (2005) described as “minimal acupuncture” is actually zero acupuncture because the “minimal acupuncture” consisted of superficial needling at non-acupuncture points and were meant to investigate whether acupuncture have placebo effects and, if so, how of its possible effects in headache is classifiable as placebo. According to Merchant et al. (2005, p. 376), acupuncture and minimal acupuncture were administered by specializing physicians and consisted of 12 sessions for patients over eight weeks.

The mobilization of “specializing physicians” raises a concern whether there is “treatment fidelity” consistent with the articulation of Rolvsjord (2005, p. 22). According to Rolvsjord (2005, p. 22), treatment fidelity is an important concern because “results of the study will only be valid if the therapy provided is true to the underlying theory and goals, and if it is provided in a comparable manner for all participants.” Meanwhile, according to Melchart et al. (2005, p. 1-3), the “no acupuncture” regimen was implemented through a waitlisting.
Appropriateness of research design. The research design used is “three-armed randomized controlled multicentre trials”. The research design factors in the possibility to investigate the possibility of whether acupuncture works because of a placebo effect that acupuncture may have on a patient. The “three-armed randomized controlled multicentre trial” uses three groups: a no-treatment group, a treatment group, and a false treatment group to investigate whether the performance of the treatment is just as good as a placebo. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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