The Impact of Patient-Provider Interaction on Response to Acupuncture
This study will examine placebo responses in the context of practitioner-patient
interactions at the time of the encounter. Phase 1 of this study identified patient-related
determinants of placebo response, such as beliefs and expectations toward treatment of knee
OA with acupuncture. Phase 2 of the study evaluated an assessment tool to measure these
determinants. Phase 3 of the study is a randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether
placebo effects in patients with knee OA can be enhanced by the acupuncturists'
communicative style, which can affect a patient's cognitive expectancies and beliefs.
Patients will initially be randomized to one of two groups, each with a different model for
practitioner-patient interaction. Acupuncture practitioners will be trained to follow
semi-structured communicative styles, including traditional approaches in Chinese medicine
and techniques previously described in patient-doctor communications studies. Within each
of these groups, patients will be further randomized to receive either acupuncture or sham
acupuncture. Patients will have 6 weeks of biweekly treatment visits. Patients will be
followed for 6 months. Visits will be weekly during the first 6 weeks of the study and
The study will also include a natural cohort group composed of patients on a study waiting
list; these patients will be offered acupuncture 3 months after study entry.
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Treatment
Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain subscale
Maria E. Suarez-Almazor, MD, PhD
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
United States: Federal Government
|University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center||Houston, Texas 77030|