September 2012

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


Background: Placebo effects such as patient confidence in treatment are suspected to influence patient compliance and treatment outcomes and are especially important to recognize in observational and non placebo-controlled clinical trials. Objectives: This study was undertaken to evaluate patient-reported confidence in acupuncture treatment as a possible factor in patient compliance (i.e. returning for a 5th visit) and change in pain severity. Methods: Confidence was measured with a -2 to 2 scale and pain was measured with a 0 to 10 scale in questionnaires completed by patients at an Oriental medicine teaching clinic. Possible associations in this retrospective non-randomized cohort study were analyzed by logistic and linear regression. Results: Data were obtained on a series of 1213 adult patients seeking acupuncture treatment for joint and muscle pain. At baseline, 874 patients (72%) expressed either a positive or negative opinion in their confidence in the acupuncture treatment. Of




School of Medicine



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