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An independent review of studies of ‘energy medicine’ funded by the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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Abstract

The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has frequently been criticised for funding research that is less than rigorous. Our aim was to review NCCAM-funded clinical trials of ‘energy medicine’. We searched MEDLINE to locate all NCCAM-funded studies of energy medicine. Data were extracted by two independent reviewers according to predefined criteria. Five RCTs were identified. Those with a low risk of bias showed no effect beyond placebo. Testing implausible treatments in clinical trials is wasteful and perhaps even detrimental.

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