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  • Oncology, Open access, Research methods  (1)
  • Open access, Complementary medicine  (1)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-05-18
    Description: Objectives The aim of this pilot study was to estimate the sample size for a large pragmatic study of the comparative effectiveness of electroacupuncture (EA) for low back pain (LBP) after back surgery. Design A randomised, active-controlled, assessor-blinded trial. Participants Patients with recurrent or persistent LBP, defined as a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score of ≥50 mm, with or without leg pain after back surgery. Interventions Patients were randomised to an EA plus usual care (UC) group or to a UC alone group at a 1:1 ratio. Patients assigned to each group received UC, including drug therapy, physical therapy and back pain education, twice a week for 4 weeks; those assigned to the EA plus UC group additionally received EA. Outcome measures The primary outcome was severity of LBP as measured by VAS. Secondary outcomes included back pain-related disability, assessed using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and quality of life, assessed using the EuroQol Five Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using paired and independent t-tests. A p value of 〈0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Thirty-nine patients were allocated to receive EA plus UC (n=18) or UC alone (n=21). There was no statistically significant difference in VAS or EQ-5D scores between the two groups, but there was a significant decrease in ODI scores (p=0.0081). Using G*Power, it was calculated that 40 participants per group would be needed for a future trial according to VAS scores. Considering for a 25% dropout rate, 108 participants (54 per group) would be needed. Conclusions A future trial addressing the risk of bias and including the estimated sample size would allow for better clinical assessment of the benefits of EA plus UC in treatment of patients with non-acute pain after back surgery. Trial registration number NCT01966250; Results .
    Keywords: Open access, Complementary medicine
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-05-16
    Description: Objectives The choice of doctor is an important issue for patients with cancer, and the reputation of the doctor is the single most important factor for patients to choose a doctor. Media are providing information about the ‘best cancer doctor’, but they vary widely in their selection methodology. We investigated cancer physicians’ attitudes towards the selection of the ‘best cancer doctor’ by the media, by comparing two different selection methodologies: selection by media personnel or selection through peer-review system. Design Nationwide, cross-sectional survey. Setting National Cancer Center and 12 Regional Cancer Centers across Korea. Participants A total of 680 cancer care physicians participated in the survey (75.5% participation rate), and two were excluded due to incomplete response. Main outcome measures Physicians’ opinions on the credibility, fairness, validity, helpfulness to patients, their intention to use the information and helpfulness to improve the quality of cancer care of the two different methods. Results Only a few physicians believed that the selection method of the ‘best cancer doctor’ by the media personnel was credible (9.1%), fair (6.1%) or valid (10.0%). In contrast, the majority agreed that the peer-selection method of the ‘best doctor’ is credible (74.7%), fair (64.7%) and valid (67.4%). More physicians believed the latter methods would be useful for patients when selecting their doctor (38.5% vs 82.2%) and may lead to improvement of the quality of cancer care from the perspective of the healthcare system (12.6% vs 59.8%). The need for ensuring objectiveness and transparency was also raised. Conclusion Physicians showed different attitudes towards two different selection methods. Regulations or guidelines for selecting the ‘best cancer doctor’ and for disclosing the information should be considered in order to control the quality of the information and to protect the customers.
    Keywords: Oncology, Open access, Research methods
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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