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Table 1 Characteristics of the MEDACT and GEARS clinical trials

From: Key considerations for conducting Chinese medicine clinical trials in hospitals

  MEDACT GEARS
Condition treated Acute pain; ankle sprain, non-specific low back pain or migraine COPD
Design RCT RCT
Funding source Government funding body (NHMRC) Government funding body (NHMRC)
Source of patients Hospital ED Community and outpatients
Location of patient visits Hospital ED Hospital outpatients
Number of sites 4 4
Number of participants 505 168
Number of groups 3 2
Intervention Acupuncture or acupuncture plus standard care (pharmacotherapy) Panax ginseng (herb)
Control Standard care (pharmacotherapy) Placebo
Treatment duration 1 treatment 6 months
Follow-up 48 hours 6 months
Outcomes 1. Pain and disability scales 1. Quality of life
2. Quality of life 2. Lung function
3. Acceptably of treatment and willingness to repeat 3. Use of relief medication
4. Adverse events 4. Exacerbations
5. Health resource utilization 5. Adverse events
Recruitment status Completed: target reached 2011 Ongoing: completion target 2013
  1. COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ED: Emergency department, GEARS: Ginseng extract and respiratory symptoms clinical trial, MEDACT: Multiple emergency department acupuncture control trial, NHMRC: National Health and Medical Research Council, RCT: Randomized controlled trial.