Responses to the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration individual patient data meta-analysis

Andrew J. Vickers, Alexandra C. Maschino, George Lewith, Hugh Macpherson, Karen J. Sherman, Claudia M. Witt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In September 2012 the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration published the results of an individual patient data meta-analysis of almost 18 000 patients in high quality randomised trials. The results favoured acupuncture. Although there was little argument about the findings in the scientific press, a controversy played out in blog posts and the lay press. This controversy was characterised by ad hominem remarks, anonymous criticism, phony expertise and the use of opinion to contradict data, predominantly by self-proclaimed sceptics. There was a near complete absence of substantive scientific critique. The lack of any reasoned debate about the main findings of the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration paper underlines the fact that mainstream science has moved on from the intellectual sterility and ad hominem attacks that characterise the sceptics' movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-100
Number of pages3
JournalAcupuncture in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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