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Peer-Reviewed Journals Highlight OCOM Research Developments

Two papers by members of the OCOM Research Department were recently published in peer-reviewed journals. One highlights the OCOM-developed AcuTrial® database, while the other offers a case study of treatment for recurrent pregnancy loss.

The first article, written by Ben Marx, Ryan Milley, Dara Cantor, Deborah Ackerman and Richard Hammerschlag, is entitled "AcuTrials®: An Online Database of Randomized Controlled Trials and Systematic Reviews of Acupuncture." Published in the July 2013 issue of BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine, it details the development of AcuTrials®, a unique bibliographic database of randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews. It was created and is maintained by members of the OCOM Research Department to streamline literature searches in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM).

AcuTrials® went live in January 2010 and currently contains nearly 1,400 abstracts from over 300 medical journals. The department is continually working to source and add new articles to the database to keep it current. AcuTrials® provides multiple acupuncture-specific search options which are currently unavailable in PubMed or any other database of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research. Included among these is an innovative keyword catalogue which allows users to search by such categories as treatment protocol, control type, and style of acupuncture.

Prior to the release of AcuTrials®, literature searches for acupuncture studies could only be conducted across multiple databases, none of which were cataloged with acupuncture-specific language. The authors hope that AcuTrials® will continue to grow and realize its potential to improve the accessibility and quality of acupuncture research.

The second article — "Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and Traditional Chinese Medicine" — was authored by Lee Hullender Rubin, Dara Cantor and Ben Marx. It was published in the June 2013 issue of Medical Acupuncture. This paper presents a case report of a 42-year-old woman with the diagnoses of recurrent pregnancy loss and diminished ovarian reserve. The patient was tracked from six months prior to conception through the delivery of a healthy baby boy while receiving acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal therapy from Dr. Hullender Rubin.

Case studies are an important component of the AOM evidence base, as they allow clinicians to share a richness of clinical detail that isn't possible in other types of evidence. Often, slight modifications to the acupuncture protocol or an herbal formula, are the keys to clinical success. Case studies permit a more detailed description of these modifications, and allow practitioners to share their work with colleagues without having to adhere to a restrictive study design.

Congratulations to these authors for their fine work!