Adding either acupuncture or counselling to usual care can hasten improvement in patients with persistent depression according to a large UK-based study. In a multi-centre randomised controlled trial, 755 patients presenting with depression after having consulted their general practitioner in primary care were randomised to one of three trial arms: acupuncture, counselling, or usual care alone. Patients attended a mean of ten acupuncture sessions and nine counselling sessions over a three-month period. Acupuncture treatment consisted of a standardised protocol developed by a consensus method, while counselling used a manualised humanistic approach. Patients were followed up over 12 months. Compared to usual care, there was a statistically significant reduction in depression scores at three and 12 months, for both acupuncture and counselling. Differences between acupuncture and counselling were not found to be significant. (Acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care: a randomised controlled trial. PLoS Med. 2013;10(9):e1001518).