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J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2011 Mar;4(1):5-13. doi: 10.1016/S2005-2901(11)60002-2.

Electrodermal activity at acupoints: literature review and recommendations for reporting clinical trials.

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National College of Natural Medicine, Helfgott Research Institute, Portland, OR 97201, USA.


Electrodermal activity (EDA) at acupuncture points (acupoints) has been investigated for its utility as a diagnostic aid, a therapeutic monitoring tool, and a physiological outcome measure. The research methodologies reported in published trials, however, vary considerably and publications often lack sufficient details about electrical instrumentation, technical procedures, laboratory conditions, recorded measures, and control comparisons to permit a critical appraisal of the studies or to replicate promising findings. We developed a 10-category (54 subitems) Quality of Reporting scale based on technical issues associated with EDA measurements, publication requirements for reporting EDA in the psychophysiological literature, and recommendations from the CONSORT Statement for reporting clinical trials. Using our Quality of Reporting scale, we extracted data from 29 studies that evaluated EDA at acupoints in patients and generated weighted scores for each of the 10 categories of essential information. Only 9 of the 29 studies reviewed scored a mean of greater than 50% for reporting details of essential information. To rigorously build a program of research on EDA at acupoints we need to standardize research methodology and reporting protocols. We propose a checklist of recommended informational items to report in future clinical trials that record EDA at acupoints.

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