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There has been increased interest in explaining the placebo effect given findings of no difference between placebo and true needle acupuncture.1 ,2 A lack of difference may be explained by an ‘enhanced’ placebo effect given the ritual nature of acupuncture and it is known that the placebo effect can be altered by the therapeutic context (eg, by the device itself as well as patient and therapist–patient interactions).3
This elegant trial by White and colleagues is very timely. The design is innovative, using a mixed methods approach to explore therapeutic contextual factors that might explain …
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