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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:478202. doi: 10.1155/2013/478202. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Comparisons of prediction models of myofascial pain control after dry needling: a prospective study.

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Nursing Department, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung 80201, Taiwan.


Background. This study purposed to validate the use of artificial neural network (ANN) models for predicting myofascial pain control after dry needling and to compare the predictive capability of ANNs with that of support vector machine (SVM) and multiple linear regression (MLR). Methods. Totally 400 patients who have received dry needling treatments completed the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) at baseline and at 1 year postoperatively. Results. Compared to the MLR and SVM models, the ANN model generally had smaller mean square error (MSE) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) values in the training dataset and testing dataset. Most ANN models had MAPE values ranging from 3.4% to 4.6% and most had high prediction accuracy. The global sensitivity analysis also showed that pretreatment BPI score was the best parameter for predicting pain after dry needling. Conclusion. Compared with the MLR and SVM models, the ANN model in this study was more accurate in predicting patient-reported BPI scores and had higher overall performance indices. Further studies of this model may consider the effect of a more detailed database that includes complications and clinical examination findings as well as more detailed outcome data.

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