A reader commented on my recent post about Oxford’s Osteoarthritis Pain paper published in Rheumatology using Bioelectronics Corporation’s Actipatch in a comparative study with a Placebo. I am pasting his comment below and also a data table and a chart I made which represents a possible correction to the published paper’s data table with the comment in mind.

The commentator noticed a contradiction between the text of the paper and the data table summarizing it. I offer a proposed correction below. I think the person who wrote in is probably right, and the authors of this paper should be informed of the discrepancy.

Also, thank you to the reader for the thoughtful comment. I hope my chart reflects the correction accurately, and the results are dramatic.

Update-adding incorrect data table for comparison to corrected (directly below). I boldfaced what are believed to be the inaccuracies.

NSAID/analgesic intake PEMF (n = 30) Placebo (n = 30)
Subject’s daily drug intake at 1 months
    NSAIDs, n (%) 6 (20) 12 (40)
    Analgesics, n (%) 8 (26) 15 (50)
Changes in drug intake at 1 month follow-up
    Started NSAIDs/ analgesics, n (%) – (0) 3 (10)
    Stopped NSAIDs/ analgesics, n (%) 8 (26) 10 (33)

Graph Builder Graph BuilderText of comment

The Oxford journal Rheumatology published the results of a study conducted to measure how effective the Bioelectronics …

Thanks for posting this study. However, I think there is an error in your conclusion about how many active and placebo device users stopped/started NSAIDs. You conclude that it is a tie and I think it is far from a tie. The error is caused by an error in the table: read the text just above the table. The text clearly says 1 placebo user stopper and 10 started a new therapy and for active patch users these numbers are 8 stopped and 0 started a new therapy. So (8-0)/30 = 27% stopped for active patch users and (1-10)/30 = -9/30 = (negative)30% stopped (or 30% started) for placebo. The difference is huge. I think table mixed up the numbers (I assume that the text is right; I hope it is not the other way around, it is very unlikely to be other way around which would be inconsistent with the pain score reductions). Someone needs to point this out to the authors and have an erratum issued.”