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Acupuncture in the Treatment of Depression

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00010517
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 5, 2001
Last Update Posted : March 7, 2008
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Brief Summary:
The current large randomized placebo-controlled trial is testing the ability of acupuncture to treat major depression. The study is unique in that treatment effects will be from the perspective of both Western psychiatry and Chinese medicine.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depressive Disorders Depression Procedure: Acupuncture Phase 3

Detailed Description:
Depression is an unfortunately common condition for which people often seek alternative (non-Western) treatments, perhaps because conventional treatments do not consistently provide lasting relief. A pilot study (Allen, Schnyer and Hitt, 1998) suggests that acupuncture, a popular but under-researched alternative treatment derived from Chinese medicine, holds sufficient promise as a treatment for depression to warrant a larger-scale clinical trial. The investigators propose to conduct a larger-scale test of the efficacy of acupuncture in this trial. Because relapse and recurrence of Major Depression are quite common, the investigators also will assess the clinical status of participants for 18 months after treatment concludes. In the first phase of this double-blind randomized clinical trial, 150 men and women meeting criteria for Major Depression will be randomly assigned to a treatment approach or to a waitlist control. All participants will ultimately receive acupuncture designed to address their own particular constellation of depressive symptoms. At the end of this first phase, blind assessments will be used to compare treatment effects from the perspectives of both Western psychiatry and Chinese medicine. After this treatment phase, participants will be assessed several times over the next 18 months. The study is designed to evaluate the efficacy and clinical significance of acupuncture as a treatment for Major Depression, and to examine the convergence of Western-based and Chinese-medicine-based outcome measures. Finally, the study will determine whether changes in energetic pattern mediate changes in Western defined depression severity, and explore whether patient and history variables predict responses to acupuncture treatments.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Allocation: Randomized
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Acupuncture in the Treatment of Depression
Study Start Date : September 1997
Study Completion Date : April 2002

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Acupuncture

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Must meet criteria for Major Depression.
  • Must be free of other mental or physical disorders that could cause depression, and also free from conditions that would typically exclude participants from trials involving pharmacologic antidepressants.
  • Cannot be receiving other treatments or require immediate clinical attention.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00010517

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United States, Arizona
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona, United States, 85721-0068
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Principal Investigator: John J. Allen, PhD University of Arizona, Department of Psychology
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00010517    
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00004534
Other Study ID Numbers: R01 AT000001-01M
R01AT000001-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: February 5, 2001    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 7, 2008
Last Verified: March 2008
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders