Acupuncture equal to counselling for depression: study

Among 600 patients, those having acupuncture or receiving counselling had lower depression scores at three months, although this effect disappeared by 12 months, with no increase in adverse effects overall.

Nearly 70% of patients were taking antidepressants at baseline and use of the drugs declined over the year at a similar rate in the three arms of the trial.

The trial was the first of its kind looking at acupuncture for general practice patients with persistent depression.