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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Sep;22(7):436-43.

Preliminary study of the effects of a placebo chiropractic treatment with sham adjustments.

Author information

1
Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Davenport, Iowa 52803, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify aspects of the delivery of placebo chiropractic treatments by using sham adjustments that may cause a treatment effect and that may affect the success of blinding.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Two-period crossover design in a chiropractic college research clinic.

SUBJECTS:

Eighteen volunteer staff, students, and faculty of the chiropractic college who reported low-back pain within the last 6 months.

INTERVENTIONS:

Flexion-distraction technique was used to perform chiropractic adjustments, and a hand-held instrument (Activator adjusting instrument) with the pressure gauge set on the 0 was used to perform sham adjustments. The treatment period was 2 weeks, with a total of 4 visits.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for pain and Global Well-Being Scale (GWBS).

RESULTS:

Although VAS and GWBS scores improved with both treatments, a somewhat greater improvement occurred in most cases with the active treatment. Eight of 14 patients interviewed believed that the placebo had a treatment effect.

CONCLUSION:

This study provided preliminary information that was useful in planning the protocol for a placebo chiropractic treatment in the randomized clinical trial for which it was designed.

PMID:
10519559
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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