Journal of Health Care Communications Open Access

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STRICTA and the Traditional Acupuncture Paradigm: Time to Update?

Virginia Barbeitos Cruz* and Ana Luiza Lima Sousa

Introduction: Although acupuncture is an ancient therapeutic technique of inestimable value, it currently still adopts its intact traditional model, despite all technological developments and elucidated mechanisms of action. We aimed to critically analyze the Revised STandards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA) based on contemporary science and health contexts.
Discussion: We evaluated the content of STRICTA guidelines published in 2001, and updated in 2010, and compared it to that of published articles that address acupuncture mechanisms of action, in light of science, acupuncture research methodology, and scientific communications of acupuncture efficacy studies in different clinical conditions seeking to identify gaps, congruencies, and dissonances. We then developed a critical analysis of the line of thought adopted by STRICTA. After analyzing the STRICTA guidelines dated 2001 and 2010, we identified gaps that deserve to be revisited and reformulated.
Conclusion: We make suggestions for consideration by the STRICTA working group highlighting the urgency of a new review, among which that they consider abolishing the reference to “acupuncture points” and “meridians”, as well as the unfounded use of “sham acupuncture”. We also suggest the adoption of contemporary medical rationale for acupuncture prescription and dosage based on Nosological diagnosis. We hope that these suggestions are capable of bringing the guidelines closer to the currently prevailing health context.

Published Date: 2024-03-04; Received Date: 2024-02-05