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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 1868659, 9 pages
Research Article

Protocol for Acupuncture Treatment of Lateral Elbow Pain: A Multisite Randomised Controlled Trial in China, Hong Kong, Australia, and Italy

1Chinese Medicine, School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
3Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, China
4Paracelso Institute, Rome, Italy
5World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies, Beijing, China

Received 5 April 2016; Accepted 12 October 2016

Academic Editor: Caigan Du

Copyright © 2016 Christopher Zaslawski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Lateral elbow pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal pains associated with the upper limb and has an estimated population incidence of 1–3%. Methods/Design. This study protocol is for a multisite randomised controlled study and is designed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic (over three months’ duration) lateral elbow pain. Four study sites, in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Italy, and Australia, will recruit 24 participants each. A total of 96 participants will be randomised to either an acupuncture group or a sham laser control group. The primary outcome measure will be the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire with secondary outcome measures of Pain-Free Grip Strength Test, Muscle Tension Test, and a pain visual analogue scale. Discussion. Key features for conducting a multisite international acupuncture randomised clinical trial have been detailed in this protocol. Trial Registration. This trial is registered at Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12613001138774 on 11 October, 2013.