02 9231 3377

Acupuncture Sydney CBD/City

Call us now on 02 9231 3377

Conveniently located on Level 10,
The Dymocks Building,
428 George Street, Sydney CBD.

Dr Kirk Wilson’s research on depression

A summary of Dr Kirk Wilson’s research at the University of Technology, Sydney


This study was designed to test the effectiveness of using acupuncture to treat depression


Inclusion criteria required subjects involved in the study to be diagnosed as having Major Depressive Disorder according to DSM-IV-TR and to be prescribed and taking Serotonin Selective Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressant medication. All subjects were required to continue to take their SSRI’s medication during their involvement in the study.


Subjects who satisfied the inclusion criteria were randomly assigned into either an acupuncture treatment group or a wait list control group. Those in the acupuncture treatment group received an acupuncture treatment program of twelve treatments over an eight week period in conjunction with their prescribed medication. Those in the wait list control group received no acupuncture but like the acupuncture treatment group also continued to take their SSRI antidepressant medication for an equal period of eight weeks. Pre and post assessment were made using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) along with other depression and anxiety measures.

Results – acupuncture intervention

Post intervention assessments indicated 88% of subjects in the acupuncture treatment group no longer fit the diagnostic criteria of Major Depressive Disorder after the acupuncture treatment. On average, subjects entered the study classified as moderately depressed (average BDI score of 27.39) compared to an average post treatment rating of minimally depressed (average BDI score of 12.03). Comparisons based on sex showed similar improvements between males and females.

Results- medication only

Subjects in the wait list control group demonstrated no significant change in their levels of depression.


  • 1.) Acupuncture is effective in treating depression when it is used as an adjunct therapy to SSRI antidepressants.
  • 2.) Males and females who took SSRI antidepressants experienced similarly significant rates of improvement in their level of depression as a result of the acupuncture treatment.


Since the research project has concluded, there are no longer positions available. If you would like acupuncture treatment for your depression, Dr Kirk Wilson is available to give treatments at his private clinic, Meridian Healing Centre. Kirk’s success rate in treating depression with acupuncture with his private patients is similar to that achieved in his research.