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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine: 2012; 10(8): 847-852
DOI: 10.3736/jcim20120803
Adequate application of quantitative and qualitative statistic analytic methods in acupuncture clinical trials
1. Ming T. Tan (Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, Maryland, USA )
2. Jian-ping Liu (Center for Evidence-based Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China )
3. Lixing Lao (Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, Maryland, USA E-mail: E-mail: LLao@compmed.umm.edu)
ABSTRACT: Recently, proper use of the statistical methods in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has received increased attention. Statistical inference based on hypothesis testing is the foundation of clinical trials and evidence-based medicine. In this article, the authors described the methodological differences between literature published in Chinese and Western journals in the design and analysis of acupuncture RCTs and the application of basic statistical principles. In China, qualitative analysis method has been widely used in acupuncture and TCM clinical trials, while the between-group quantitative analysis methods on clinical symptom scores are commonly used in the West. The evidence for and against these analytical differences were discussed based on the data of RCTs assessing acupuncture for pain relief. The authors concluded that although both methods have their unique advantages, quantitative analysis should be used as the primary analysis while qualitative analysis can be a secondary criterion for analysis. The purpose of this paper is to inspire further discussion of such special issues in clinical research design and thus contribute to the increased scientific rigor of TCM research.
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Please cite this article as:
Tan MT, Liu JP, Lao LX. Adequate application of quantitative and qualitative statistic analytic methods in acupuncture clinical trials. J Chin Integr Med / Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2012; 10(8): 847-852.
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