Osteoarthritis (OA) is most commonly located in the knee and is a major cause of pain, activity limitation and health care utilisation, especially among older people. There appears to be an unmet need for treatment for this condition, while a systematic review and recent randomised trials have provided some evidence that acupuncture is more effective than placebo for osteoarthritis of the knee. There remain however a number of substantive questions regarding effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for OA of the knee.
With Harriet Lansdown, a Medical Research Council Medical research Council funded MSc student at the University of York, we have conducted a pilot study as a platform for a full-scale cost-effectiveness study using a pragmatic randomised trial RCT design.(Lansdown et al, 2009).
Lansdown H, Howard K, Stephen Brealey S, Hugh MacPherson H. Acupuncture for pain and osteoarthritis of the knee: a pilot study for an open parallel-arm randomised controlled trial. BMCMusculoskelet Disord. 2009 Oct 24;10:130.