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Table 1 Details of the proposed acupuncture intervention according to the STRICTA 2010 Checklist

From: Acupuncture for sequelae of Bell's palsy: a randomized controlled trial protocol

Acupuncture rationale Style of acupuncture Traditional Korean Medicine
  Rationale for treatment Acupuncture has been historically used to treat facial palsy. Additionally, it is known to be a safe treatment used in a wide range of symptoms caused by Bell's palsy [11].
  Extent to which treatment varied The subjects of the acupuncture group all receive the same treatment
Details of needling Number of needle insertions per subject per session 18
  Names of the insertion points (uni/bilateral) ST4, ST6, (unilateral, unaffected side) ST1, EX-HN4, TE23, LI20 (unilateral, affected side) TE17, ST9, LI10, LI4, ST36 and GB34 (bilateral)
  Depth of insertion 5-30 mm (exact depth shown in Table 2)
  Response sought De-qi
  Needle stimulation Manual
  Needle retention time 10 minutes
  Needle type 0.20 mm (diameter) × 30 mm (length) disposal needle (Dongbang Acupuncture Inc, Boryeong, Korea)
Treatment regimen Number of treatment sessions 24
  Frequency and duration of treatment sessions 3 sessions/week for 8 weeks
Other components of treatment Details of other interventions administered to the acupuncture group No other interventions are done
  Setting and context of treatment All subjects are informed that they will receive acupuncture treatment, which can potentially reduce the sequelae of Bell's palsy symptoms; however, the control group would have to complete the three evaluations during the first 8 weeks before receiving the same treatment as the acupuncture group.
Practitioner background Description of participating acupuncturists Specialists in Oriental Medicine with at least 3 years of practice in acupuncture
Control or comparator interventions Rationale for the control or comparator in the context of the research question No-acupuncture waitlist control is used as a control because sham acupuncture cannot be a substituted for a physiologically inert placebo [20]
  Precise description of the control or comparator The control group forms a waitlist and completes the evaluations during the first 8 weeks after randomization before receiving the same treatment as the acupuncture group.