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Clinical Application of the K-Style Acupuncture Score (KSAS): Towards the Establishment of a Novel Rating Scale for Depression in Acupuncture Medicine

Author(s): Yoshihiro Noda, Kiiko Matsumoto, Hirohiko Murakami, Arata Ito, Yukari Shinse, Aya Suzuki, Yukari Sawada, Gen Ishii, Hideo Iwanari, Motoaki Nakamura

In Asian countries, depressed patients has been reported to present physical symptoms more mainly than psychiatric symptoms. However, there is no valid and suitable rating scale for those kinds of depression, especially in accordance with Eastern medicine. With this background, we have developed an original rating scale, the K–Style Acupuncture Score (KSAS), to assess the depression such as masked depression. To verify the KSAS measure, we examined the correlations with other depression scales. We also assessed whether the KSAS could be an indicator to detect the therapeutic effect of acupuncture on depression. Twelve healthy subjects and 30 depressed patients participated in this study and underwent the assessments of psychological batteries and the KSAS measure before and after Press Needle (PN) acupuncture intervention in a randomized, placebo-controlled design. To evaluate a cross-sectional difference between the healthy subjects and depressed patients and longitudinal changes before and after the PN acupuncture in the KSAS, we performed a three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with time as a within-subject factor and intervention (active vs. sham) and group (healthy subjects vs. depressed patients) as between-subject factors. We also performed correlation analysis between the KSAS measures and each of the psychological tests. The ANOVA for the total score of the KSAS showed significant main effect of group (F1, 38=9.893, P=0.003) and time-intervention interaction (F1, 38=4.403, P=0.043). Further, we observed significant cross-sectional and longitudinal correlations between the KSAS measure and other psychological metrics. The present study demonstrated the validity and utility of the KSAS measure to assess depression in the context of acupuncture medicine.

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