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22/07/2010 - German Randomized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) - A pragmatic, controlled, patient-blinded, multi-centre trial in an outpatient care environment.

Country: Germany

Institute: Ruhr-University Bochum, Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 44780 Bochum, Germany.

Author(s): Molsberger AF, Schneider T, Gotthardt H, Drabik A.

Journal: Pain. 2010 Jul 22.

Abstract: The German Randomized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) comprised 424 outpatients with chronic shoulder pain (CSP) 6weeks and an average pain score of VAS 50mm, who were randomly assigned to receive Chinese acupuncture (verum), sham acupuncture (sham) or conventional conservative orthopaedic treatment (COT). The patients were blinded to the type of acupuncture and treated by 31 office-based orthopaedists trained in acupuncture; all received 15 treatments over 6weeks. The 50% responder rate for pain was measured on a VAS 3months after the end of treatment (primary endpoint) and directly after the end of the treatment (secondary endpoint). Results: In the ITT (n=424) analysis, percentages of responders for the primary endpoint were verum 65% (95% CI 56-74%) (n=100), sham 24% (95% CI 9-39%) (n=32), and COT 37% (95% CI 24-50%) (n=50); secondary endpoint: verum 68% (95% CI 58-77%) (n=92), sham 40% (95% CI 27-53%) (n=53), and COT 28% (95% CI 14-42%) (n=38). The results are significant for verum over sham and verum over COT (p<0.01) for both the primary and secondary endpoints. The PPP analysis of the primary (n=308) and secondary endpoints (n=360) yields similar responder results for verum over sham and verum over COT (p<0.01). Descriptive statistics showed greater improvement of shoulder mobility (abduction and arm-above-head test) for the verum group versus the control group immediately after treatment and after 3months. The trial indicates that Chinese acupuncture is an effective alternative to conventional orthopaedic treatment for CSP. Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Pubmed ID: 20655660