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Table 1 Acupuncture treatment protocol based on the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA) [29]

From: Efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness analysis of adjuvant herbal medicine treatment, Palmijihwang-hwan, for chronic low back pain: a study protocol for randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded, multicenter clinical trial

1. Acupuncture rationale1a) Acupuncture techniqueTraditional Korean medicine theory
1b) Reasoning for treatment provided (based on historical context, literature sources, and/or consensus methods), with where appropriateTextbook of acupuncture and moxibustion and related articles
1c) Extent of treatment variationsEX-B2 of lesion or upper and lower levels
2. Details of needling2a) Number of needle insertions per subject per sessionAcupuncture points: 15
2b) Names of points usedLocal acupuncture points: GV3, EX-B5/bilateral BL23, BL24, BL25, BL26 (total 11 points)
Distal acupuncture points: bilateral BL40, BL60 (total 4 points)
2c) Depth of insertion based on a specified unit of measurement20–40 mm
2d) Response soughtDe-qi (penetrating, sharp, aching and painful sensations)
2e) Needle stimulationRotation of the acupuncture needle 3–5 times
2f) Needle retention time20 min
2 g) Needle typeSterilized stainless steel needle with 0.25 mm width and 40 mm length (DB108C; Dongbang Medical Co., Boryung-si, South Korea)
3. Treatment regimen3a) Number of treatment sessions12 sessions
3b) Frequency and duration of treatment sessionsTwice a week for six weeks
(Total 12 times)
4. Other components of treatment4a) Details of other interventions used for the treatment groupLifestyle advice about chronic low back pain
4b) Setting and context of treatment, including instructions to practitioners and information and explanations for patientsPractitioners are instructed to prevent talking with participants
5. Practitioner background5) Description of participating acupuncturistsKorean medical doctors who are specialist in acupuncture and moxibustion at least three years of experience, or under supervision by a specialist
6. Control interventions6a) Rationale for the control or comparator in the context of the research question with sources that justify this choiceTextbook of acupuncture and moxibustion and related articles
6b) Precise description of the control or comparatorSame acupuncture treatment in two groups: not applicable
If sham acupuncture or any other type of acupuncture-like control is used, provide details as for items 1–3.Same acupuncture treatment in two groups