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Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Review of Randomized, Controlled Trials

Selfe, Terry Kit DC, PhD; Taylor, Ann Gill EdD, RN, FAAN

Section Editor(s): Snyder, Audrey E. PhD, RN, FAANP; Taylor, Ann Gill EdD, RN, FAAN

Family & Community Health:
doi: 10.1097/01.FCH.0000324482.78577.0f
Article
Abstract

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a major cause of disability among adults. Treatment is focused on symptom management, with nonpharmacologic therapies being the preferred first line of treatment. Acupuncture is considered a potentially useful treatment for osteoarthritis. The objective of this article is to review the English-language articles, indexed in MEDLINE or CINAHL, describing randomized, controlled trials of the effects of needle or electroacupuncture on knee osteoarthritis. Ten trials representing 1456 participants met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. These studies provide evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain and physical dysfunction associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Author Information

From the School of Nursing and the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies (Drs Selfe and Taylor), University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville.

Corresponding author: Terry Kit Selfe, DC, PhD, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia Health System, PO Box 800905, Charlottesville, VA 22908 (e-mail: tks6b@virginia.edu).

This publication was supported in part by grant no. 5-T32-AT000052 and 5-K30-AT000060 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine or the National Institutes of Health.

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