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Acupuncture for Chronic Headaches - An Epidemiological
Melchart D, Weidenhammer W, Steng A, Hoppe A, et al.
Posted: June 2006  
Headache 2006;46:632-641

Objective:   To investigate the characteristics and outcomes of patients undergoing acupuncture treatment for chronic headaches under conditions of routine care provided within the framework of statutory health insurance in Germany. Furthermore, we investigated correlations between different outcomes.

Patients and Methods:   Patients with migraine, episodic or chronic tension-type headache, or several other forms of chronic headache treated with acupuncture were included into an observational study. Detailed questionnaires including questions on headache days and instruments measuring disability and quality of life were completed before treatment, after treatment, and at 6 months after inclusion.

Conclusions:   In this epidemiological study, headache patients reported clinically relevant improvements after receiving acupuncture. Randomized trials performed in parallel to this study confirm the relevant overall effect, however, the effect may largely be due to potent unspecific needling and placebo effects.