Acupuncture/ pressureCAM Education

Improved quality of acupuncture studies

First published in 1966, CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) is intended to improve the reporting of medical research. Authors use it as a checklist when they submit articles for publication. By standardizing the information that must appear in a research article, this should help assure that the studies are well designed and the results are useful to readers.

Has it helped improve acupuncture studies?


In this review, 90 journal articles reporting the results of acupuncture study were selected at random. There was a statistically significant increase in the reporting of CONSORT items for articles published in each time period measured (1994-1995, 1999-2000, and 2004-2005).

In 2001, another set of standards called STRICTA (STandards for Reporting Interventions In Controlled Trials of Acupuncture) was developed. The reviewers found that in the succeeding years, these standards have not being included in published articles.

The bottom line?
Researchers are human. They tend to do just what is needed to get their work published. The responsibility to enforce the CONSORT and STRICTA standards is the responsibility of the journals and their editors. Journal editors responsible for publishing acupuncture studies need to do more editing and less cheerleading of this discipline.

2/15/08 21:14 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.