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October 2022

Am J Chin Med. 1992 ; 20(1): 17-23.

Predictive value of subjective and objective evaluation before acupuncture treatment.

Bülow HH, Christensen BV, Wilbek H, Iuhl IU, Dreijer NC, Rasmussen HF.

Anaesthesiological department, Central Hospital, Nyk.F. Denmark.

To evaluate if it is possible to predict the outcome of acupuncture treatment in patients with knee osteoarthrosis, six treatments were given during a 3 week period. Follow-up time was 9-17 weeks. Seven parameters were evaluated to examine if they had any influence on the outcome of treatment: Age, duration of disease, pain, range of knee movement, analgesic consumption, knee score (an objective and subjective evaluation of the knees) and x-ray changes. Twenty-nine patients were included with a total of 42 osteoarthritic knees waiting for a total knee replacement. The median age was 69.2 years, and median duration of disease was 4.2 years. 85% of the participants reported a subjective effect, and in 88% an objective effect was found. Although there were some significant differences when you looked at the 7 parameters above, the pattern was not a consistent one. Follow up results also indicated that those with the best immediate results, not necessarily were the ones with the best long-term effect. It is not possible to predict the outcome of acupuncture treatment of osteoarthritic knees. Immediate results are not a guide-line for long-term results, which indicate that acupuncture research must include a follow-up period.

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