The Gilbert Clinic

Reporting Error Revealed in Knee Pain Acupuncture Study, Catastrophe Avoided

June 2016 | by Jonathon Gilbert

On October 1st, 2014, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study entitled “Acupuncture for Chronic Knee Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial”[1]. It was a major study whose results stated that neither acupuncture nor laser acupuncture was useful to patients aged 50 and older with moderate-to-severe knee pain. Enter Dr. Arthur Fan…

In March of 2016 Dr. Fan and associates published a reevaluation of this study. It found serious flaws in its methodology and analysis. Not only that, but when properly evaluated, it appears that the study actually showed significant improvement in patients undergoing acupuncture and laser acupuncture in the clinical trial.

Dr. Fan is a consultant and long term researcher in Traditional Chinese Medicine who has been published in many of the world’s foremost medical journals. He has received numerous awards and commendations including a letter of thanks from the President himself. And thanks to him a grave reporting error was averted and an catastrophe avoided.

What is of interest to this writer is how such a mistake could have been made by one of the most respected, peer reviewed, medical publications in the world? I leave that, along with the link to Dr. Fan’s paper, “Acupuncture is Effective for Chronic Knee Pain: A Reanalysis of the Australian Acupuncture Trial”[2] to your discerning minds. Be well. ♥

Woman runner holds her sports injured knee


[1] “Acupuncture for Chronic Knee Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Hinman RS, et al.
JAMA. 2014;312(13):1313-1322. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.12660.
PMID: 25268438

[2] “Acupuncture is Effective for Chronic Knee Pain: A Reanalysis of the Australian Acupuncture Trial
Yin Fan A, Zhou K, Gu S, Ming Li Y.
Altern Ther Health Med. 2016 Mar;22(3):32-6
PMID: 27228270

About the Author Acupuncturist

Jonathan Gilbert is a recognized expert in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is certified in both acupuncture and Chinese herbology and has completed extensive post graduate training as well as a traditional apprenticeship. Read more of Mr. Gilbert’s credentials and written works.

Copyrights and Credits

Blog text is Copyright ©The Gilbert Clinic, Inc., 2016. Excerpts and links are allowed with credit and direction to original content. For full text reprint permission or a medical consultation with Jonathan Gilbert, contact us at (301) 215-4177 or Photo of woman holding knee ©lzf / Adobe Stock.

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