There have been few randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to inform the use of acupuncture
for depression. In one published study, Allen et al. (405)
compared 38 women, ages 18–45 years, who were assigned
to three different groups: an acupuncture regimen specifically chosen
to address their depression, sham acupuncture, or a waiting-list
control condition. The active acupuncture group experienced a significantly
greater remission rate. However, Allen et al. (406)
failed to replicate these results in a larger randomized trial,
in which 151 patients with major depressive disorder received acupuncture
specific for depression, sham acupuncture, or a waiting-list condition.
After 8 weeks, there was no evidence of benefit for the acupuncture
intervention specific for depression, compared with sham acupuncture
or the waiting-list condition. Response rates were 22% for
the depression-specific acupuncture treatment and 39% for
the sham acupuncture treatment.