The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    P6 acupressure for nausea and vomiting in breast cancer patients

    This study used Pericardium 6 (Neiguan) acupoint (photo) to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

    It raises as many questions as it attempts to answer.

    First, the details.

    • Patients were randomly assigned to acupressure applied using wristbands (Sea-Band) for the 5 days following chemotherapy or no acupressure.
    • Results are based on 36 patients who completed the study.

    And the significant benefits of acupressure.

    • Less nausea and retching experience
    • Less nausea, vomiting, and retching occurrence and distress
    • But there was no difference in vomiting

    The bottom line?
    The reported benefits with acupressure and acupuncture to reduce nausea and vomiting have been summarized on this blog — here, here, and here.

    But based on what’s presented in the abstract of this study, I have some questions.

    • Why are the results limited to those who completed the study (and presumably had the best experience)?
    • Would the findings be significant if all enrolled patients were evaluated (intent-to-treat group)?
    • What was the difference in drug use between groups?
    • It’s not clear why the symptom groupings were used? Why not just report differences in nausea, retching, and vomiting as individual outcomes?

    My final question is why does a journal (Complementary Therapies in Medicine) that specializes in CAM research permit authors to write incomplete and misleading abstracts? It’s bad for the researchers’, and the journal’s reputation. And it’s a practice that raises doubt (whether justified or unjustified doesn’t matter) about the results. It makes it easy for critics of CAM to disregard the research.

    5/12/07 20:42 JR

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