Not many people know this but the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Arthritis Research UK fund the University of York Health Sciences Departments research into the effectiveness of acupuncture.
The NIHR funds research based on a complex mosaic of methodologies when investigating acupuncture as it understands that modern medical research methods have evolved beyond placebo controlled Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) for assessing complex interventions such as acupuncture.
There is a growing movement for comparative effectiveness research, not placebo trials, to be at the forefront of evaluating the benefits of healthcare options (Witt et al 2012a and 2012b, Greenfield and Kaplan 2012, Olfson and Marcus 2013, Scott 2013).
Acupuncture For Depression & Anxiety Research
The most recent research published by the University of York Health Sciences Dept compared whether acupuncture or counselling, provided alongside usual care, could benefit patients with depression and anxiety.
I’m proud to say that I was part of the research team employed as an acupuncturist.
As part of this team I treated a number of patients in the trial for up to 12 treatments and thus gain considerable experience in dealing with depression and anxiety.
The study found that in a primary care setting, combining acupuncture or counselling with usual care had some benefits after three months for patients with recurring depression.
We have provided evidence that acupuncture versus usual care and counselling versus usual care are both associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of depression in the short to medium term and not associated with serious adverse events. Dr MacPherson
Compared with usual care alone, there was a significant reduction in average depression scores at three months for both acupuncture and counselling interventions, but there was no significant difference in depression scores between the acupuncture and counselling groups.