Reliability of AcuGraph system for measuring skin conductance at acupoints

Scott D. Mist, Mikel Aickin, Paul Kalnins, Jim Cleaver, Roger Batchelor, Tracy Thorne, Steve Chamberlin, Kim Tippens, Agatha P. Colbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective There are many commercially available instruments for measuring electrical conductance, but there is little information about their reliability. The aim of this study was to quantify measurement variability and assess reliability of the AcuGraph system-a commonly used electrodermal screening device. Methods Four experiments were conducted to measure variability in electrical conductance readings obtained by the AcuGraph system. The fi rst involved measuring known resistors. The second measured non-human organic matter. The third was a test-retest assessment of the Yuan-Source and Jing-Well points in 30 healthy volunteers who were measured by a single operator. The fourth was an interoperator reliability evaluation of seven acupuncturists at the Yuan-Source and Jing-Well acupoints on four individuals at two time points. Results Against known resistors, the AcuGraph had an average coeffi cient of variability (CV) of 1.8% between operators and test-retests. On non-human organic material the AcuGraph had an average CV of 0.9% and 2.8%. When a single operator tested 30 participants, the average reliability for the Yuan- Source points was 0.86 and 0.76 for Jing-Well points with a CV of 23.2% and 25.9% respectively. The average CV for the seven acupuncturists was 24.5% on Yuan-Source points and 23.7% on Jing-Well points. Conclusions The AcuGraph measures known resistors and organic matter accurately and reliably. Skin conductance at acupoints recorded by one operator was also reliable. There was less consistency in electrodermal recordings obtained by seven different operators. Operator training and technical improvements to the AcuGraph may improve consistency among operators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalAcupuncture in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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