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This particular study would better be described as a potential Pilot Trial and hence the data generated would be of an empirical nature. There was an opportunity to randomise the GP acupuncturists into a control group matched to an intervention group which could be a double blinded RCT trial. More dialogue is needed on acupuncture therapeutics throughout the study. eg the qi and its behaviour about bothersome menopausal symptoms including anxiety.
The authors' assertion that sham acupuncture represents an active intervention and therefore would not be useful as a comparison I find uncompelling. This study is drivel as the difference between groups is likely driven completely by the placebo effect. I am disappointed to see this published by a journal that I associate with quality. It's a shame that media outlets will call this trial "controlled".
To my surprise BMJ has published a poorly controlled study. Instead of "non intervention" the control group had to be subjected to a "sham acupuncture" (my suggestion is putting the needles at random or in a "scientific way"). Otherwise the well known Hawthorne effect must have been anticipated. Did the reviewers comment on this?