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Clinical efficacy evaluation of a traditional Miao technique of crossbow needle therapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a multi-center randomized controlled trial
Fu J, Shang H-C, Wang L-Y, Zhao C, Yang X-F, Guo W-W, Lu C-X, Cui J, Wang Y-P
Trials 2020 Jun 22;21(560):Epub
clinical trial
7/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) seriously reduces quality of life and is a major threat to the health of the middle-aged and elderly. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of Miao crossbow needle therapy versus acupuncture for KOA therapy. METHODS: This multicenter, randomized controlled trial was performed at three hospitals between April 2016 and December 2016. The patients were randomized to receive crossbow needle (CN) or acupuncture (AT). All treatments were completed within 46 days. Evaluation of treatment was conducted on the 46th, 62nd, and 77th days. The primary endpoint was change of Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score on the 46th day. The secondary endpoints included WOMAC score, the Lysholm knee score, the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) knee score, visual analog scale (VAS), and the MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36), on the 46th, 62nd, and 77th day. RESULTS: Finally, data of 301 participants were analyzed for the efficacy of treatment. Compared with AT, there was a larger change of WOMAC score in the CN group after treatment (-25.0 (95% CI -27.0 to -23.0) versus -18.8 (95% CI -20.8 to -16.9), p < 0.001). In the CN group, the WOMAC score was lower at all three time points (p = 0.008, p = 0.003, p < 0.001 respectively), while the Lysholm knee score (p = 0.03) and JOA score (p = 0.013) were higher and the VAS score (p = 0.011) was lower on the 77th day. CONCLUSION: Both Miao crossbow needle therapy and acupuncture reduced the WOMAC score. Miao crossbow needle therapy can be an alternative method for treating patients with knee osteoarthritis. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ChiCTR, ChiCTR-INR-16008032. Registered on 12 March 2016.

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